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Honeywell Unveils Its “Connected Flight” In India

The technology not only offers seamless communication and entertainment possibilities to passengers but also enables the airline to take informed decisions on board to save costs by energy efficient navigation, avoiding flight delays and helping on-time repair and maintenance

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Your phone is no more on airplane mode while flying. Instead, the pilot will tell you to switch on the same as you are allowed to browse high-speed internet and to go live with your friends and relatives through WhatsApp, Messenger or any other social media platforms. The WiFi-ed flights have just become a reality now and it is there to bring a key revolution in the aviation industry.  

US aerospace leader Honeywell International, which first introduced the “Connected Aircraft”, awaits regulatory approval from various countries, including India, to provide its technology to several global airlines, who claimed to have approached the company for the connectivity upgrade on board.

"There is high demand for this technology up gradation, as it not only offers seamless communication and entertainment possibilities to passengers but also enables the airline to take informed decisions on board to save various costs by energy efficient navigation, avoiding flight delays, helping on-time repair and maintenance besides huge cost saving on in-flight entertainments,” said Sasi Kancharla, customer business leader, Middle East and India, Honeywell Aerospace

Kancharla as interacting with media in Mumbai while giving an onboard demo in its “Connected” flight, a Boeing 757 aircraft that was flown into India on Monday (3rd July) to showcase the new technologies that can help airlines reduce fuel consumption and maintenance costs while providing high-speed Wi-Fi on board.

Honeywell estimates that flight delays worldwide cost airlines about $25 billion and a grounded commercial jet while being worked on, can cost up to $10,000 an hour. The company claims that a connected aircraft can help avoid all these costs by enabling the flight crew can take better decisions on board using real-time data from various sensors fitted in the aircraft while seamlessly communicating with the ATC, MROs and ground handling bodies.

According to Honeywell, the market for connected aircraft is at least $7 billion globally and that there would be rapid adoption of such technologies. By 2015, an estimated 25,000 planes will be equipped with Wi-Fi as consumer demand would make airlines invest in such technologies sooner. Singapore Airlines, according to Kancharla, was the first to adapt this technology and its in-flight WiFi service is already on.  

“We are getting good response from our aviation customers and we are in talks with Indian carriers for deployment of connected technologies,” said Neelu Khatri, president, Aerospace, Honeywell India

A Honeywell report states that the concept of a ‘connected’ aircraft can reduce fuel cost and emission by at least 5 per cent. The aircraft can also provide 10 to 100 times faster Wi-Fi speeds and offers insights through the use of analytics while ensuring a secure communication link to and from the aircraft.


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