Panasonic Avionics has announced its partnership with SKY Perfect/Jsat to secure Gigabit-class capacity on the SuperBird-9 satellite. The satellite, built on the Airbus OneSat framework, is designed to provide superior in-flight internet services and has the capability to dynamically reconfigure coverage areas in Geosynchronous transfer orbit, catering primarily to Japan’s in-flight connectivity market.
The decision to secure capacity on the SuperBird-9 satellite is driven by the increasing demand for high-quality in-flight internet services. Leading airlines such as Singapore Airlines, Saudia, and United Airlines already incorporate Panasonic’s services, providing superior connectivity to about 2.7 billion passengers annually across their combined fleet of 2544 aircraft. John Wade, Panasonic Avionics’ VP for In-Flight Connectivity, highlighted the company’s strategic investments, including the SuperBird-9, in meeting this growing demand.
While the launch of the company’s in-flight broadband service was initially scheduled for 2024, persistent delays have pushed the launch to the first half of 2027. These delays have raised concerns about the launch contract with SpaceX Starship, which is expected to be ready by late 2026 when the satellite is prepared for launch. Despite these challenges, Panasonic Avionics remains dedicated to expanding its Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO) satellite capacity to meet the increasing demands for its services.
With the secured capacity on the SuperBird-9 satellite, Panasonic Avionics aims to provide reliable and high-performance in-flight connectivity to passengers, enhancing their travel experience. This move further solidifies the company’s commitment to delivering cutting-edge technology and meeting the evolving needs of the aviation industry.