Qingdao Airlines Vice President Zhang Fang
visited AeroSat Link this week, along with several Qingdao Airlines partners including Feitian and TDLink to discuss the airline’s in-flight connectivity plans. The article provided relatively limited details on the nature of the visit, but the participants themselves were interesting.
To review, Qingdao Airlines is the first Chinese airline to offer IFC on narrowbody aircraft. Feitian is a Chinese IFC integrator, and TDLink is a service provider, with the companies having partnered with Qingdao to install their original IFC equipment. AeroSat Link is the recently-established IFC-focused subsidiary of China Satcom, headed by a former head of ChinaSat broadband service offerings. ChinaSat has plans to launch 3x HTS with a total of 400 Gbps by 2023, which are partially aimed towards IFC, and China AeroNet is working to sell this capacity to airlines. The meeting with Qingdao Airlines, while seemingly early stage, could be a good sign for AeroSat Link’s prospects of selling capacity.
The meeting between Qingdao Airlines, its connectivity partners and AeroSat Link is in the continuity of the announcement of Qingdao Airlines to extend connectivity services to its entire fleet. Currently, Qingdao Airlines only operates a single connected aircraft (A320 B-8442), with AeroSat Link connectivity.