Science News

Inmarsat orders new satellite as Qatar Airways takes its broadband service

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s Inmarsat said on Friday it had ordered a satellite from Thales Alenia Space to increase capacity on its broadband network as Qatar Airways signed up to use the service to provide in-flight connectivity.

Inmarsat said the new satellite, which would cost about $130 million over three years from 2017 to its launch in 2019, would serve the Middle East, Europe and the Indian subcontinent.

The company said the Qatar Airways deal, which will initially be available to passenger on board more than 130 Airbus A350s and Boeing 777s, would take the number of aircraft using its Global Xpress service to more than 1,000.

As well as the Middle Eastern carrier, Inmarsat has mandates from Deutsche Lufthansa Group, International Airlines Group, Air New Zealand, Singapore Airlines and Norwegian Air Shuttle for the high-speed global network.

Reporting by Paul Sandle; editing by Kate Holton