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Airbus Adds Intelsat, Panasonic, and Get-SAT Antenna to HBCplus Program 

By Rachel Jewett | September 20, 2023

Airbus graphic of its HBCplus program. Photo: Airbus

Airbus is adding Intelsat and Panasonic Avionics as managed satellite service providers for its Airspace Link HBCplus ​solution​ for in-flight connectivity (IFC), the companies announced Tuesday. 

HBCplus is a flexible satellite connectivity solution Airbus introduced last year, that lets airlines connect with selected managed service providers and line-fit new aircraft or retrofit aircraft with certified terminals and radomes. Customers get a data routing plan for IFC service, and Airbus manages system installation in line and retrofit, as well as service support.

Intelsat and Panasonic Avionics are adding Ku-band, multi-orbit Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) and Geostationary Orbit (GEO) connectivity into the program. Both Intelsat and Panasonic are distributors of OneWeb’s LEO capacity. This announcement comes after Airbus announced an MoU with the satellite players earlier this year. 

Airbus also selected Safran Passenger Innovations (SPI) as its Ku-band satcom hardware supplier, integrating Get-SAT’s electronically steerable antenna (ESA). Airbus said this antenna will offer simultaneous and multi-beam connectivity, with entry into service in 2026. 

“As the aircraft OEM, Airbus is looking forward to delivering state-of-the-art built-in aircraft connectivity technology together with Safran Passenger Innovations, integrating Get-SAT’s electronically-steerable antenna to harness multiple satellite constellations. In parallel, our expanding catalog of selected managed service provider partners – now joined by Intelsat and Panasonic Avionics Corporation – will deliver a fantastic customer experience,” commented Airbus exec Maximilian Ruecker, vice president of Cabin Procurement Seats. 

The HBCplus program currently includes Ka-band GEO and Medium-Earth Orbit (MEO) using SPI’s integrated terminal modem with Thinkom Solutions’ antenna, with Viasat and SES as the managed service providers.