AJet jet in-flight

‘Awesome’ IFC coming to AJet passengers as LCC gets fitted


AJet passengers should expect to avail of “awesome connectivity at scale” when the low-cost carrier starts rolling out TCI Aircraft Interiors’ integrated inflight connectivity solution fleet-wide, Hughes Network Systems, a key partner on the new program, says.

During the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, the LCC subsidiary of Turkish Airlines announced plans to bring TCI’s innovative high-value IFC solution to 122 aircraft in the first phase. But with 84 narrowbodies in its current fleet, comprising Airbus A320 family and Boeing 737 series aircraft, AJet has in fact provisioned for IFC now and in the future.

The broadband IFC solution is expected to meet AJet’s needs “for the next 10 years and provide a competitive advantage”, a TCI spokeswoman tells RGN.

Formerly known as AnadoluJet, AJet operates services across Europe and the Middle East. Its stated expansion plan includes flying to 44 countries in the next ten years.

Led by TCI — the entity that emerged from last year’s merger of TCI Cabin Interior, TSI Seats and Cornea — this new IFC project will see state-owned satellite operator Turksat provide the Ka-band geostationary (GEO) satellite service, whilst Hughes will leverage ThinKom Solutions’ popular Ka2517 VICTS antenna and its own advanced IFC management capabilities. Turksat is a long-time partner of Hughes, an EchoStar company. TCI, meanwhile, will draw on its advanced aviation engineering and integration capabilities for AJet. Financial terms have not been revealed.

Reza Rasoulian, senior vice president of the Aviation Business Unit at Hughes, says the arrangement underscores Hughes’ managed services pedigree and its flexible partnership approach to the market. “We’re humbled and ecstatic about that partnership,” he tells RGN.


Though Hughes has long provided satellite capacity and its Jupiter technology to the aviation market, the Germantown, Maryland-based firm is a relatively new aero ISP, announcing its intent to serve airlines directly last year. In short order, it has become a major contender, snagging Delta Air Lines as a customer for Ka-band IFC using the more petite ThinKom Ka1717 package for smaller narrowbodies and regional jets.

“So this was like the perfect union of our managed service capability, our ability to manage the hardware and optimize the hardware and reduce line maintenance time which is part of everything that we’re doing for Delta,” explains Rasoulian of the AJet/TCI IFC project. “So if we’re building on what we did last year here, which we think is an amazing thing.”

The AJet IFC rollout will also give Turkish Airlines experience with Ka-band IFC. The carrier recently brought Anuvu’s Ku-band Airconnect solution to over 100 Airbus A321 and Boeing 737NG narrowbodies. And it offers Panasonic Avionics’ Ku-band IFC on its widebody aircraft.

“I think the industry needs just a little bit of fresh thinking and, you know, we came without any baggage,” notes  Rasoulian. “We wanted to reinvent the experience. We have a great team now, a pretty large team that’s dedicated to this business. We’ve invested a lot, and continue to invest.”

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