Air China selected the Thales TopFlight SATCOM satellite communications solution for their 22 B737 aircraft


  • Thales will equip Air China’s 22 B737 with the latest in satellite communications.
  • Thales has now more than 20 customers worldwide flying with Thales SBB Satcom for cockpit application on Boeing aircraft.
  • Thales TopFlight SATCOM is future proofed to meet the ever growing demand for voice and data satellite communications for commercial air transportation.

PARIS, 14-11-2014 — /EuropaWire/ — Air China has selected the Thales TopFlight SATCOM satellite communications solution for their 22 B737 aircraft, scheduled for delivery  between 2015 and 2016.

The Thales TopFlight SATCOM is the latest generation in satellite communication systems, offering voice and data services for both cockpit and cabin. It was the first ARINC 781 SATCOM system to be certified on Boeing aircraft, and  it remains the lightest and the most reliable SBB satellite communciation system in the commercial air transport market.

Its B737 configuration will provide two voice and one data channels, enabling ACARS & FANS1 communications, and can be configured to deliver Swiftbroadband to the cockpit, thus future proofing cockpit connectivity for the industry’s increasing data requirements.

“This selection is a result of a reliable product and the Thales quality of support,” said Air China.

“Thales remains a key player for Satellite solutions in Asia. Our position as partner of choice for connectivity continues to strengthen as our offer develops into one of the most advanced in the world.”

Daniel Malka, Thales Vice President for Avionics Services Worldwide activities


TopFlight SATCOM (TFS) is a light weight ARINC 781 L band SATCOM that take full advantage of Inmarsat’s I-3 and I-4 satellite constellations. TFS offers ATS voice (SATVOICE), non ATS voice and data over Inmarsat Classic Aero services and/or IP connectivity with data rates of up to 432kbps per channel for non-safety cockpit and cabin services via Inmarsat Swiftbroadband (SBB) service. Due to this flexibility and reliability, TFS is able to comply with SATCOM requirements within China, and has been certified as a Freedom of Choice BFE option on B777 passengers & Freighter and B737NG aircraft

ACARS: Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System, is a digital datalink system for transmission of short messages between aircraft and ground stations via air-band radio or satellite.

1. FANS: future air navigation systems, is an avionics system which provides direct data link communications between pilots and traffic controllers

Thales is a global technology leader in the Aerospace, Transportation and Defence & Security markets. In 2013, the company generated revenues of €14.2 billion with 65,000 employees in 56 countries. With its 25,000 engineers and researchers, Thales has a unique capability to design, develop and deploy equipment, systems and services that meet the most complex security requirements. Thales has an exceptional international footprint, with operations around the world working with customers and local partners.

Air China Limited is the national flag carrier of People’s Republic of China and holds direct or indirect interests in airlines like Shenzhen Airlines Company Limited, Cathay Pacific Airways Limited and Tibet Airlines Company Limited. Today the airline owns 461 aircraft (including its holding companies), featuring Boeing and Airbus aircraft, with an average age of 6.54 years. It operates 284 passenger routes, including 72 international routes, 15 regional routes and 197 domestic routes, covering 29 countries and regions, and 145 cities (45 international cities, 4 regions, and 96 domestic cities).

Press Contact
Thales, Media Relations
Civil Aerospace
Giaime Porcu
+33 (0)1 57 77 92 18


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