Inmarsat: Clear visibility for industry growth


“We have clear visibility of where the industry will go” as it continues to expand over the coming year, Raymundo Villar told Corporate Jet Investor (CJI). Inmarsat’s director of Market Development, Aviation spoke to CJI following the publication of a joint research project which surveyed business aviation professionals, asking how the industry has fared since the pandemic and where it is heading.

“Of course Inmarsat is well entrenched into what the industry is doing right now,” said Villar. “There has been a little bit of volatility coming out the pandemic, but nothing unexpected. We see clear visibility, for instance in terms of what kind of aircraft are being purchased, flight patterns etc.”

A stand out of Villar is the percentage who believe business aviation is going to continue to grow over the coming year, 8 in 10 respondents believe more private flights will be taken.

Predicted growth in online activities stands even higher at 90%. Villar says Inmarsat will continue to provide a global network for business aviation users. “When someone jumps on a business jet they don’t need to worry about what connectivity system they have or whether it works. No, they just need the system to work. And the more transparently that system works for them, the more we’ve done our job.”

As reliance on connectivity-based technology grows, from streaming sports to Zoom meetings, fliers expect consistency, according to Villar. “Whether they pick the aircraft up in Los Angeles or Paris, they expect the same service when arriving onboard and that also translates to connectivity. And this will be demanded of charter companies. So charter companies are investing a lot of money to ensure they provide that capability.”

Whilst almost half of respondents (46%) see health and safety as a top priority thanks to the pandemic, connectivity is also a key priority, said Villar. “If an aircraft doesn’t have connectivity, they’re [the client] are going to look at something else.”

If there had been no pandemic, Villar believes that connectivity would be the key priority for respondents. “Before the pandemic, we have seen how connectivity is encroaching on the top priority list. This is not only in business aviation, but in commercial too, because if you do  search for airline tickets and you have the filter for Wifi onboard, it is one of the three main considerations right now, besides the price and the schedule.”

Villar sees the referee in a sports game like the connectivity on an aircraft. “You have the referee who is an instrumental part of that game, but the less you hear about that referee the better they have performed. Now with connectivity on an aircraft, you want to deliver so that everybody knows that you are doing your job, and let the rest of the flight perform as you expect.”