Emirates Airline passengers bound for the US will soon have inflight connectivity throughout their journey, thanks to the planned launch of Inmarsat satellites that will provide coverage over the polar region.

The carrier’s US-bound flights often travel over the Arctic region, where aircraft can lose contact for up to four hours with geostationary satellites over the Equator.

By 2022, however, Emirates partner Inmarsat will place two satellites in elliptical orbits, via the new-generation Global Xpress (GX) satellite network, to add coverage over the North Pole, the airline said. That will allow passengers to access Wi-Fi, mobile service connectivity and Emirates’ Live TV broadcast on the route. Live TV is currently available on 175 Emirates aircraft, including select Airbus A380s and all Boeing 777s.

“Over the years, we have worked closely with Inmarsat and our supply partners to continually raise the bar on inflight connectivity, and we look forward to further enhancing that experience, taking advantage of new technologies and infrastructure,” Emirates’ EVP and COO Adel Al Redha said.

“In the past month alone, we have announced even more capacity being added to the network with five additional payloads, including these latest two for flights over the northern latitudes and Arctic region,” Inmarsat Aviation president Philip Balaam said. “This is a great fit for Emirates and once again they have played an important role in our decision for these latest expansions.”

Kurt Hofmann, hofmann.aviation@netway.at