After having launched Airspace Link HBCplus at AIX in 2022 with its Ka offer and at AIX 2023 announcing its Ku solution, Airbus is on track delivering to its plan to provide airlines with more choice and flexibility.


Certification flight testing underway

Both Airbus’ Ka and Ku HBCplus projects are steadily progressing towards certification, preceded by in-flight evaluations of the Ku and Ka antenna solutions respectively. To this end, the GetSat Ku-band antenna is being flight-tested on an A310 MRTT; meanwhile the Thinkom Ka-band antenna recently commenced flight testing on Airbus’ A350-900 MSN2 “Airspace Explorer”. The Ka-band solution will be the first HBCplus solution to be delivered, in Emirates’ new A350s towards the end of this year, and will feature Viasat as the chosen MSP.

A350 MSN2 - antenna flight aircraft


Philippine Airlines selects HBCplus for its A350-1000s…

Meanwhile, Philippine Airlines is the latest airline to select HBCplus to equip the nine A350-1000s which it ordered from Airbus in 2023.

Philippine Airlines selects A350-1000 for future long haul fleet

In addition, an undisclosed airline has also selected HBCplus for its A320 Family aircraft – representing not only the first Single-Aisle commitment for HBCplus integration, but also being the first selection of SES from the HBCplus managed service provider (MSP) offering.

Combined with our previously announced HBCplus orders (from Emirates, Ethiopian Airlines; Air Algerie and Air India), HBCplus’ broad appeal and growing popularity is confirmed across diverse markets, solidifying its position as a future reference in the industry. Additional deals are in various stages of negotiation with airlines and will be revealed in due course.


New partners to join Airbus’ HBCplus programme

Airbus is in continuous discussions with MSPs to join the HBCplus programme and continue to team-up. Hughes has recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to join Airbus’ network of MSPs for the Ka-band solution providing significant flexibility to airlines. Besides this MoU, Airbus and Hugues continue to explore partnership opportunities for other connectivity architectures & services (including Ku-band). Subject to final contract, Hughes would join Airbus’ four other MSPs in its HBCplus catalogue: Viasat; SES; Panasonic and Intelsat.

AIX 2024 - Airbus and Hughes

Furthermore, Airbus is exploring working together with satellite operator Telesat, and Safran Passenger Innovations (the provider of the Ka-band system for HBCplus), to ensure that the ThinKom antenna is compatible with the Telesat Lightspeed Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite network. This is a first step towards potentially enabling LEO network capabilities with Ka-band for HBCplus customers. This would also complement the already available Oneweb LEO capability in Ku band for HBCplus.


HBC+ Interview

Interview of Jim-Fawcett and Sascha-Thörner on HBC+, a solution enhancing onboard connectivity.

Your contact

Martin Fendt

Airbus Corporate Communications - Airbus Commercial Aircraft

A380 Airspace Cabin Business-class

Cabin & Connectivity Upgrades