APEX EXPO 2018: A year on, Singapore Airlines and SITAONAIR’s GX Aviation-enabled IFC revolution is still leading the way


The world does not stop as soon as a plane’s wheels have left the runway; down on the ground, it’s business as usual.

And for many air passengers staying in touch with terra firma – whether that’s by making a vital conference call, chatting with friends on social media, or keeping up with the latest share prices – inflight connectivity is all-too important when taking to the skies.

As an award-winning carrier, Singapore Airlines (SIA) knows what 21st-century passengers want, and is committed to providing best-in-class inflight connectivity. That’s why it is working closely with inflight-connectivity expert SITAONAIR to provide the seamless connectivity in the skies that global air travelers increasingly crave.

“Listening to passenger needs and preferences, and digitizing them (where applicable), are important elements of our strategy as we continue to enhance customer experience,” explains SIA’s vice president, product innovation, Ng Yung Han.

Breaking new ground

In September 2017, the Airline showcased a Boeing 777-300ER equipped with SITAONAIR’s award-winning inflight Wi-Fi portal Internet ONAIR, and Mobile ONAIR service. Both are powered by Link ONAIR services over Inmarsat’s GX Aviation – promising nose-to-tail high-speed broadband with global coverage, and giving passengers a similar experience to what they would have on the ground.

SIA continues to innovate across its fleet. In December 2017, SIA’s new Airbus A380 became the world’s first GX Aviation-enabled A380 aircraft – again with the help of SITAONAIR’s expertize. As with the 777-300ER, the ground-breaking fleet guarantees an uninterrupted, super-quick internet connection over land or sea.

Those who experienced the service on a special press flight from Toulouse to Singapore were impressed, with aviation analyst Alex Macheras hailing it as: “the most reliable, fast and seamless Wi-Fi I’ve had on an aircraft so far!”

Yann Cabaret

And Yann Cabaret, SITAONAIR’s VP of customer programs, is thrilled with how the relationship with SIA has blossomed.

“Over the past year, our partnership with SIA has seen some exciting developments,” he enthuses. “With the help of our ground-breaking inflight technology, SIA passengers are now experiencing truly next-level connectivity once aboard their plane.

“Here at SITAONAIR, we believe that embracing a digital shift will help to reinvent air travel – making it safer, more efficient and, of course, more enjoyable for passengers. We are committed to powering innovation with recognized expertise and future-proof solutions.”

Giving customers what they want

Offering passengers exceptional inflight connectivity is a smart move. A recent study conducted by Inmarsat found that 61% of air passengers who had experienced high-quality Wi-Fi considered it more important than inflight entertainment. And failure to meet the demands of passengers who want to browse, chat, share and download could lead to reduced passenger satisfaction.

As SIA knows, passenger satisfaction is key. Alongside its passenger Wi-Fi services, SITAONAIR has now equipped the Airline with its full suite of high-speed-connectivity-enabled services for the cabin. These span from its custom-made high-speed inflight Wi-Fi portal (Internet ONAIR) and mobile data services (Mobile ONAIR) to enhance the passenger experience and operational efficiencies.

“Singapore Airlines provides its passengers with an exceptional in-cabin experience, which includes personalized inflight entertainment and connectivity,” continues Ng Yung Han. “With an increasing number of our aircraft being equipped with high-speed broadband, customers are able to stay in touch with their loved ones via ground-like connectivity, so that the customer is ‘home’ the moment he or she boards the plane.”

To further benefit passengers, SIA is offering one session of complimentary Wi-Fi to premium-class and PPS Club members on its aircraft equipped with inflight connectivity.

Gaining access to the service is simplicity in itself. Once again, SIA has drawn upon SITAONAIR’s considerable inflight expertize to deliver a user experience that is both intuitive and personalized. To access complimentary WiFi, passengers would simply need to input their last name and seat number on the inflight WiFi portal.

Leader of the pack

Such innovations, enabled by SITAONAIR, place the Airline at the forefront of the IFC revolution. According to the 2017 Air Transport IT Trends Insights research carried out by SITAONAIR’s parent company SITA, 34% of flight companies expect to receive deliveries of connected aircraft by 2020 – putting SIA years ahead of the game.

And the Airline is in no doubt that its long-term partnership with SITAONAIR is helping it to pioneer the digital transformation journey of the nose-to-tail connected aircraft.

“SITAONAIR brings with it a wealth of experience and a commitment to delivering customer-centric solutions for Singapore Airlines’ inflight connectivity,” says Ng Yung Han. “We look forward to implementing more initiatives with them, to bring about greater and more personalized inflight services for our customers.”

The partnership is proving hugely positive for SITAONAIR, too, helping to establish its reputation in the Asia-Pacific market as the world’s leading inflight technology provider.

As SITAONAIR’s VP Asia-Pacific Katrina Korzenowski told Runway Girl Network: “This is a diverse and dynamic market offering immense opportunities for growth, and we at SITAONAIR greatly value our partnership with Singapore Airlines.” Adding: “Our unique proposition lies in our ability to be not only a service provider, but an integrator for the Airline – supporting Singapore Airlines as they continue their passenger connectivity journey.”