Panasonic Avionics, a division of Panasonic Corporation, is strengthening its global expansion strategy by improving its satellite capacity. The company has made strategic agreements in various regions and is deploying High Throughput Satellite capacity in China and Japan to enhance in-flight connectivity.
To bolster its In-Flight Connectivity (IFC) broadband service, Panasonic Avionics has secured Gigabit-class capacity on SKY Perfect/Jsat’s SuperBird-9 satellite, set to launch in the first half of 2027. The Superbird-9, developed on the Airbus OneSat framework, can dynamically reconfigure coverage areas in Geosynchronous transfer orbit, primarily serving the in-flight connectivity market in Japan.
This strategic move is a response to the growing demand for high-quality in-flight internet services. Notably, major airlines such as Singapore Airlines, Saudia, and United Airlines have incorporated Panasonic’s services, providing superior connectivity to approximately 2.7 billion passengers annually across their combined fleet of 2544 aircraft. John Wade, VP for IFC at Panasonic Avionics, highlighted the increasing demand for their services and the significance of investments like the Superbird-9 satellite.
However, persistent delays have pushed the service entry from 2024 to 2027. These delays have raised questions about the validity of the launch contract with SpaceX Starship, expected to be ready by late 2026 when the satellite is scheduled for launch. Nonetheless, Panasonic Avionics remains committed to expanding its Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO) satellite capacity to meet the rising demands for in-flight services.