December 2004/January 2005
Volume 03, Issue 8
|Helping connect the region
A region with increasing numbers of travelers and rapidly growing airlines that fly long-distance routes is a natural fit for Connexion by Boeing, the real-time, high-speed Internet, data and entertainment service. This spring, the business unit visited the Middle East to demonstrate its capabilities to potential commercial and VIP jet customers, government and regulatory officials, and reporters. Connexion representatives took the demo aircraft, Connexion One, to Dubai, United Arab Emirates and the nations of Qatar and Bahraineven receiving an e-mail from Harry Stonecipher, who shared his excitement about the service's potential.
"The response from everyone that came on the airplane and experienced the service was overwhelmingly positive," said Mike Woodward, Connexion's regional director for Europe and the Middle East. Airlines here, just as in other regions of the world, are "able to immediately recognize the potential value for passengers as well as airlines themselves," he said.
And because of increased leisure-and business-related traffic to the region, Woodward said Connexion's service would be an especially strong asset to "high-value" airline passengers who want to stay connected while on long-distance flights.
"What we're providing is choice," he said. "Many of the airlines based in this region are focused on providing very high levels of service, so it's a region where we think the Connexion service would be of great value."
Woodward said Connexion "strongly expects" to announce its launch airline customer in the Gulf region by the end of 2004. While he declined to name the potential dollar value of Connexion business in the Middle East, he said the business unit sees it as a "valuable emerging market that has healthy revenue potential."
Just as it does in other world regions, Connexion also is targeting global corporate customers here for its Internet service. So far, Woodward said, more than 100 major corporations worldwide have signed up to offer their traveling employees Connexion connectivity while in the air.
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