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Honeywell to Make Connected Aircraft for Air China

Honeywell Aerospace (NYSE: HON) has signed a memorandum of understanding with Air China to begin testing GX Aviation on the airline’s A330 aircraft.

Air China is said to be the first airline to collaborate with Honeywell and Inmarsat to test the GX Ka-band connectivity solution, and joint testing is expected to begin in the second quarter of 2015.

GX Aviation represents a new era in cabin connectivity for commercial aircraft.

Its speed and bandwidth will bring Air China one step closer to providing customers with a home- and office-like wireless connectivity experience even at 40,000 feet.

Passengers will have the freedom to do what they want online in-flight, from chatting on social media to streaming videos.

[ Also Read: Gogo In-flight Internet and Entertainment for Aeromexico ]

With GX Aviation, passengers can expect a 60 percent improvement in download speed for their in-flight connectivity compared with current solutions in the market today, says Honeywell.

Around the world, passenger demand for global, transoceanic, fast and consistent in-flight wireless connectivity is rising.

A 2013 Honeywell connectivity survey of more than 3,000 global airline passengers revealed that more than three in four surveyed think wireless access should always be available on airplanes, while almost 90 percent would give up an amenity on their flight — preferred seats, extra legroom and more — to be guaranteed a faster and more consistent wireless connection.

[ Also Read: Honeywell to Show New Movies for In-Flight Entertainment ]

Beyond passenger comfort, the Honeywell-developed avionics and hardware for GX Aviation will more effectively enable new services for aircraft operators and airlines, such as predictive maintenance and better aircraft communications, that will take advantage of fast, consistent and global connectivity, essentially creating a truly “connected aircraft.”

Photo courtesy: Honeywell Aerospace

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