Airbus, Delta, OneWeb, Sprint, and Bharti Airtel (“Airtel”) announce the formation of the Seamless Air Alliance – which will usher in a new era of innovation for airlines on all routes. By empowering member mobile operators to extend their services into airline cabins, the Seamless Air Alliance will allow them to continuously provide their customers - via satellite technology - with the same high-speed, low-latency connectivity from ground to air and back again. It will also significantly reduce costs for everyone involved while creating a smooth, positive user experience.
The alliance – which aims to attract additional industry operators beyond the five initial members – will eliminate the immense costs and hurdles commonly associated with acquisition, installation and operation of data access infrastructure by streamlining system integration and certification, providing open specifications for interoperability, increasing accessibility for passengers, and enabling simple and integrated billing.
“What if the best internet you ever experienced was in the air? Keeping this goal in mind, together, we will enable an affordable and frictionless experience for passengers everywhere,” said Greg Wyler, Founder and Executive Chairman of OneWeb. “With the launch of our first production satellites set for later this year, we’re one step closer to bridging the global Digital Divide on land and in the air.”
“Easy-to-use, high-speed connectivity is part of the next revolution in aerospace,” said Marc Fontaine, Airbus Digital Transformation Officer. “We’re excited to create this seamless experience for our airline customers and their passengers. As we showed with our Skywise aviation data platform, Airbus is committed to innovation that creates value across the aviation industry.”
“We know that Delta customers have an expectation that their internet connection just works – no matter where they are in their travel journey” said Gil West, Senior Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer. “Delta is constantly looking at innovative ways to improve the customer experience. We are excited to be collaborating with other visionary companies, and that our existing partner Gogo will be joining the alliance as Delta develops a system that not only benefits Delta customers, but the entire airline industry.”
“With our 5G network rolling out next year we’re investing heavily to make sure our customers have the best mobile Internet experience possible,” said Dow Draper, Chief Commercial Officer, Sprint. “As an initial member of the Seamless Alliance, we’re looking forward to enabling customers to experience Sprint’s high-speed connectivity in the air, hassle-free.”
Gopal Vittal, MD & CEO (India & South Asia) of Bharti Airtel, said: “We are delighted to be an initial member of this innovative technology platform to bring seamless connectivity to customers in the true sense. Over 370 million mobile customers across Airtel’s global network will be able to enjoy uninterrupted access to high speed data services even while they are in-flight. We look forward to collaborating with all partner members to ensure this platform goes live at the earliest.” Airtel is the third-largest mobile operator in the world with operations in 16 countries across Asia and Africa.
Michael Small, CEO of Gogo, added: “As the market leader in in-flight connectivity, Gogo is excited to join the Seamless Alliance. We look forward to working with the Alliance to develop future generations of inflight connectivity, which will provide airline passengers worldwide with simple, fast and reliable connectivity.”
To learn more about the Seamless Air Alliance and how to become a member, please sign up at www.seamlessalliance.com.
Airbus is a global leader in aeronautics, space and related services. In 2017 it generated revenues of €67 billion and employed a workforce of around 129,000. Airbus offers the most comprehensive range of passenger airliners from 100 to more than 600 seats. Airbus is also a European leader providing tanker, combat, transport and mission aircraft, as well as one of the world’s leading space companies. In helicopters, Airbus provides the most efficient civil and military rotorcraft solutions worldwide. Additional information is available at www.airbus.com
Bharti Airtel is a leading global telecommunications company with operations in 16 countries across Asia and Africa. Headquartered in New Delhi, India, the company ranks amongst the top 3 mobile service providers globally in terms of subscribers. In India, the company's product offerings include 2G, 3G and 4G wireless services, mobile commerce, fixed line services, high speed home broadband, DTH, enterprise services including national & international long distance services to carriers. In the rest of the geographies, it offers 2G, 3G, 4G and mobile commerce services. Bharti Airtel had over 394 million customers across its operations at the end of December 2017. To know more please visit, www.airtel.com
Delta Air Lines serves more than 180 million customers each year. In 2017, Delta was named to Fortune’s top 50 Most Admired Companies in addition to being named the most admired airline for the sixth time in seven years. Fast Company also named Delta among its most innovative companies in 2018. With an industry-leading global network, Delta and the Delta Connection carriers offer service to 314 destinations in 54 countries on six continents. Headquartered in Atlanta, Delta employs more than 80,000 employees worldwide and operates a mainline fleet of more than 800 aircraft. Including its worldwide alliance partners, Delta offers customers more than 15,000 daily flights. Additional information is available on the Delta News Hub, as well as www.delta.com, Twitter @DeltaNewsHub, Google.com/+Delta, and Facebook.com/Delta.
OneWeb’s mission is to enable affordable Internet access for everyone, connect every school on Earth, and bridge the digital divide by 2027. OneWeb is building a communications network with a constellation of Low Earth Orbit satellites that will provide connectivity to billions of people around the world. With more than 7 terabits per second of new capacity in the first phase of its system, it will transparently extend the networks of mobile operators and ISPs to serve new coverage areas, bringing voice and data access to consumers, businesses, schools, healthcare institutions and other end users. Additional information is avaialbe at www.oneweb.net
Sprint (NYSE: S) is a communications services company that creates more and better ways to connect its customers to the things they care about most. Sprint served 54.6 million connections as of December 31, 2017 and is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including the first wireless 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; leading no-contract brands including Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile, and Assurance Wireless; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. You can learn more and visit Sprint at www.sprint.com or www.facebook.com/sprint and www.twitter.com/sprint.