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Inmarsat says a survey of airline passengers worldwide, commissioned from GfK, shows soaring demand for in-flight broadband in Asia Pacific, with nine out of ten respondents from the region saying the availability of onboard connectivity would influence their choice of airline and over two thirds willing to pay for the service.

However, according to Inmarsat only three percent of aircraft operating in Asia Pacific today offer the service, highlighting the potential for airlines to use it as a differentiation point to attract more customers.

Responses were gathered between August 2015 and March 2016 from more than 9,000 passengers in Asia, Australasia, Europe, and Central and South America who had taken a short, medium or long haul flight in the past year and who carried at least one personal device onboard the aircraft.

The survey showed that 54 percent and 57 percent of Asia Pacific passengers would choose in-flight broadband as a preferred service in short-haul and long-haul flights, respectively, compared to only 16 percent and 18 percent choosing traditional in-flight entertainment as their preferred onboard service.

Business flyers were even more likely to recognize the value of paying for high-speed onboard connectivity than leisure travellers. Seventy four percent of business travellers surveyed indicated that they were willing to pay more for faster in-flight broadband compared to 62 percent of leisure travellers. Sixty four percent of passengers felt that in-flight broadband could deliver on all of their onboard needs.

Inmarsat claims that its recently launched GX Aviation service  'creates the world's first high-speed passenger broadband solution with seamless, end-to-end global coverage, delivered through a single operator.' Initial customers include Singapore Airlines, Lufthansa and Jazeera Airways.

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