Satellite communications specialist Inmarsat has named Honeywell Aerospace as a value-added reseller (VAR) of its GX Aviation Ka-band inflight broadband system.

Honeywell already manufactures the JetWave multi-channel satellite terminal and fuselage-mount MCS-8200 antenna for airlines using GX Aviation. The avionics manufacturer also supplies JetWave hardware and since November 2016 has offered Inmarsat’s Jet ConneX broadband Wi-Fi service for business aviation customers through its GoDirect retail services business.

As part of the agreement announced Nov. 14, Honeywell now will market GX Aviation to airlines through GoDirect.

One application Honeywell offers airlines is a data analytics platform with predictive maintenance capabilities, taking advantage of real-time data streamed to the ground.

“We have matured our offering,” John Peterson, Honeywell senior director for connectivity services, told ATW. “Not only can we provide the cabin services and that outstanding experience for passengers on the aircraft, but you dovetail that with what we can do in analytics to further use this high-speed, low-cost satellite network that Inmarsat provides. You put those two things together, and we can round out a more comprehensive offering to the airlines.”

In September, Inmarsat and Panasonic Avionics announced a 10-year partnering agreement under which Panasonic will offer customers GX Aviation or its own Ku-band service. Inmarsat will make available Panasonic’s NEXT inflight entertainment and connectivity system (IFEC). Honeywell is the latest addition to its stable of VARs to airlines.

Inmarsat Aviation president Philip Balaam estimates the commercial airline market for in-flight connectivity over the next five-to-seven years amounts to 8,000-10,000 new aircraft.

“We really are in a strong market capture phase,” Balaam said. “In order for GX to really benefit from that and to become the network of reference, we’ve been looking to broaden and diversify the different channels to market. For us, it seemed to make sense to have another heavy hitter in the aerospace sector getting GX to customers.”

GX Aviation is delivered through Inmarsat’s Global Xpress network of Ka-band high-throughput satellites. The service entered commercial operation with Lufthansa Group in 2017, with a plan to equip 300 Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines and Eurowings Airbus A320s.

Other airlines that have selected GX Aviation include Kazakhstan’s Air Astana (with VAR Rockwell Collins); Singapore Airlines (with VAR SITAONAIR), and Air New Zealand, for the first time using Panasonic’s IFEC system. Qatar Airways started rolling out GX Aviation on 130 Boeing 777 and Airbus A350 airliners earlier this year.

Dubai-based Emirates and Thales have agreed to equip the airline’s future fleet of 150 Boeing 777Xs, scheduled to start arriving in 2020, with the Thales AVANT IFEC system using GX Aviation.

Bill Carey,