Fri, Sep 24, 2004
Putting AirTV In Orbit
AirTV has signed a launch services agreement with Arianespace to
orbit its first broadband spacecraft, which will deliver a new
level of in-flight entertainment and connectivity for airlines
worldwide. The AirTV system will provide 60+ channels of live
television (in multiple languages) and 40Mbps of Internet, e-mail
and data services to aircraft.
The AirTV 1 satellite will be orbited by an Ariane 5 in 2007,
and is to be positioned over the North Atlantic -- initiating
AirTV’s commercial operations with service for airline
traffic flying between America, Europe and the Middle East.
Additional spacecraft will follow to fill out the company’s
constellation, providing coverage for aircraft flying nearly all of
the commercial airline routes around the globe.
"Arianespace is very happy to support AirTV’s innovative
project, and we are pleased to work with a company that is building
the future of the airline in-flight entertainment industry," said
Jean-Yves Le Gall, Arianespace's Chief Executive Officer. "At
Arianespace, serving our customer involves more than just providing
launch services: we also are ready to help them in the search of
AirTV's purpose-built satellites
will supply real-time television in multiple languages, with the
ability to tailor the programming by individual aircraft and for
the specific international route that it is flying.
"The great success of live television in the US has confirmed our
belief in the benefits of real-time TV as part of a competitive
airline’s in-flight entertainment offering," said John
Larkin, AirTV’s Chairman and CEO. "We are convinced the
future of in-flight entertainment will be driven by live television
and Internet services, and that this future is soon to become a
reality. We believe the AirTV system is the most efficient and
effective way to deliver these services in terms of capacity, cost
AirTV has been -- and plans to continue working -- with an export
credit guarantee agency to help secure debt financing for the
launch of its initial satellite in 2007.
AirTV is developing its system with a European consortium that
includes EADS as well as other leading suppliers.
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