One key milestone has already been reached: Lufthansa Technik became the first MRO company in Europe to have received the Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) from EASA. This allows Lufthansa to install a Ka-band antenna on the A320 family, such as the A319, A320, and A321 models. The STC serves to verify that the modifications to the aircraft (hardware or software) conform to the design specifications stipulated by EASA. These specifications ensure aircraft’s continued airworthiness.
The first aircraft was equipped with the technology in June. In the coming weeks, the onboard system will be tested for functionality and stability. Lufthansa passengers will be able to use the new internet service starting in October. Other Lufthansa Group airlines will follow at a later date.
The future service from Lufthansa and its technology partner Inmarsat is based on the latest broadband satellite technology (Ka-band) and offers seamless, reliable coverage on short- and medium-haul flights through Inmarsat’s Global Xpress network. Passengers will be able to access the internet using their own mobile devices with Wi-Fi. In addition to basic surfing and email, passengers will also be able to use the internet for more complex purposes, such as streaming video.
Lufthansa Systems provides the required IT infrastructure onboard the aircraft. This includes network operations as well as the innovative FlyNet portal for passengers.
Lufthansa Systems and Lufthansa Technik have also established a long-term partnership with global satellite operator Inmarsat in order to offer a modern, multifunctional onboard IT platform with broadband internet access to the market. Both the Lufthansa Group, as well as airlines around the world, will benefit from this strong partnership through a wide range of services.
Lufthansa carried out the world’s first scheduled flight with broadband internet access on January 15, 2003. Despite its growing popularity among passengers, the technically reliable service had to be discontinued in 2006 because the Connexion by Boeing satellites ceased commercial operations. Since December 2010, Lufthansa has once again been the first airline to provide broadband internet access on intercontinental flights. Since June 2015, FlyNet has been available on all 107 long-haul aircraft in the Lufthansa fleet. Lufthansa operates the world’s largest internet-connected long-haul fleet.