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Hughes Unveils Aviation Terminal, Moves to Join Airbus HBCplus Program

By Rachel Jewett | May 28, 2024
Hughes signs an MoU to join the Airbus HBCplus program. Photo: Hughes

Hughes signs an MoU to join the Airbus HBCplus program. Photo: Hughes

Hughes Network Systems shared two updates on its in-flight connectivity business on Tuesday, announcing a new Hughes-built electronically steerable antenna (ESA) and an agreement to join the Airbus HBCplus program. 

Hughes debuted its own ESA terminal designed for aviation at Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) in Hamburg, Germany. The company said it is optimized for the Eutelsat OneWeb Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) system. 

The first aviation variants are shipping in the fourth quarter of this year, with the core technology already in operation. The terminals are manufactured at the Hughes manufacturing facility in Germantown, Maryland.

“The introduction of our Hughes In-Flight Connectivity LEO ESA is a game-changer for the aviation industry,” said Reza Rasoulian, senior vice president of the Aviation Business Unit at Hughes. “It represents a significant leap forward in our ability to provide unparalleled connectivity solutions. Passengers can now enjoy a frictionless high-speed, low-latency internet experience from their seat.”

Separately, Hughes signed an MoU with Airbus to become a managed service provider for the Airbus HBCplus catalog offering to airlines. This is the first step for Hughes to be integrated into the Airbus network as a Ka-band provider. Subject to final contract, Hughes would join Airbus’ four other service providers: Viasat; SES; Panasonic; and Intelsat.