Airbus Launches Communications Services Business

 - December 18, 2007, 7:28 AM

Hoping to cash in on new types of airborne communications capabilities, Airbus has combined forces with SITA and Tenzing to form an in-flight service called OnAir, the European airframe integrator announced last month. Starting next year, the joint venture will offer broadband Internet connections and satcom service, with the eventual goal being airborne personal cellphone links by 2006.

The OnAir menu of services will be offered to airlines and business aircraft operators using “existing” satcom systems and antennas. But OnAir officials said the new company plans to offer Internet connections at speeds that are significantly faster than the current standard, Inmarsat’s Swift64 system.