Bombardier Keeping a Watchful Eye on Connexion

 - September 13, 2006, 11:20 AM

Bombardier officials last month conceded they are somewhat concerned about the recent news from Boeing that it might pull the plug on the satellite-based Connexion service. Boeing admitted it is evaluating the future of the unprofitable business after news reports surfaced that it might sell or terminate the service.

The Rockwell Collins eXchange broadband hardware offering that has been offered exclusively aboard Bombardier aircraft uses the Connexion by Boeing link. Bombardier Business Aircraft v-p James Hoblyn said company officials are monitoring the situation and keeping in touch with their counterparts at Rockwell Collins. The eXchange service is scheduled to go live this summer.

The news comes as Gulfstream announced the expansion of its Broad Band Multi Link Internet service to parts of the North Atlantic and said beta testing with users in Europe is under way. Also potentially troubling for Bombardier is the news that Gulfstream will start offering synthetic-vision technology in its airplanes next year; Bombardier’s Global Express XRS uses older-technology Primus 2000XP avionics, hardware that cannot support SVS.