It seems Intelsat also is joining the Airbus Link (HBCplus) party, with it confirmed as a supplier.
The move follows Pansonic, who also announced they were joining the programme.
Intelsat will offer its multi-orbit network offerings, relying on LEO (Low Earth Orbit) and GEO (Geostationary) satellites, which will be available to airlines and aircraft lessors through Airbus’ Airspace Link (HBCplus) solution.
Starting with aircraft deliveries targeting the first half of 2026, airlines may select Airbus’ Ku-band ESA terminal, which is designed for simultaneous connections to Intelsat’s GEO network and LEO networks, like OneWeb.
Intelsat ESA (Electronic Steerable Antenna) at Aircaft Interiors Expo – Image, Economy Class and Beyond
This data routing plan will deliver premium IFC service with a global level of resilience, low-latency and high throughput that is unique to Intelsat. As part of the agreement, Airbus will manage the HBCplus system installation in line and retrofit, as well as the related in-service support.
Dave Bijur, Intelsat’s Senior Vice President of Commercial Aviation said
“Understanding that no airline is like any other, Intelsat has long offered flexibility and choice to its customers, including fit-for-purpose equipment options, and a variety of business models and passenger service offerings,”
“With Airbus, we are offering a new level of sophistication and flexibility that leverages the high throughput of GEO satellites with the low latency delivered by LEO satellites.”
Maximilian Ruecker, Airbus VP Cabin Procurement Seats, IFE and Electronics added
“The new blended multi-orbit IFC service is testament to the successful cooperation between the Airbus and Intelsat teams to develop joint solutions in response to customer demands,” said
“Intelsat’s innovative use of GEO and LEO satellites to seamlessly offer a blended multi-orbit solution fits the disruptive nature of the Airspace Link open ecosystem.”
What does this mean for the passenger?
For the passenger – the upshot is simple – a better inflight Wi-Fi experience. With better coverage and performance, this opens the door to more fluid in-flight browsing and streaming experiences, as well as better response times for low-latency applications.
With further competition for Airbus Link, via its HBCplus platform, it also gives airlines a choice in terms of who they purchase their connectivity from.
For the passenger who demands to be connected in the air – and that only increases day by day, this will be welcome, as airlines consider what technologies to deploy and how to deploy them.
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