August 8, 2019

Qatar Airways Exec: LEO Satellites Will Change the IFC Game

From Via Satellite

Qatar Airways, which was only launched in 1997, is one of the world’s fastest growing airlines and a pioneer in terms of In-Flight Connectivity (IFC). Ashi Hoseini, manager of Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) systems at the airline, spoke to Via Satellite recently about the airline’s view of the connected aircraft market, and what could be coming down the pipeline. She believes the influx of Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites will dramatically change the game. “Absolutely (they will impact the market)! LEO satellites are a new and growing technology and like any new technology, they will have an impact and will probably disrupt the market. These satellites are cheaper to build and will open up the possibilities for other type of players and solutions. Other benefits are more redundant systems, highly resilient and much greater bandwidth compared to the traditional High Throughput Satellites (HTS),” she said.

For an airline like Qatar Airways that invests aggressively in IFC, it needs to be aware of all the latest technology and solutions as it looks to remain at the cutting edge of customer experience. Hoseini admits there are many new technologies and players in the connectivity field, and new possibilities to be explored and evaluated. She said she hopes to see more established solutions and more concrete examples and statistics related to benefits and paybacks. She also talks about the possibilities of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML). She said, “I hope that more and more vendors and application developers incorporate the AI and ML technologies into their solutions. I believe that as a developer in this fast pacing industry, you should be one or two step ahead of your customers in order to be able to deliver the best solution and experience. This is something that I hope to see more of in the airline industry over the next two to three years. My ambition is of course to continue the digital transformation in new ways to increase simplicity and operational efficiency.” Continue>