Gulf Air, the national carrier of the Kingdom of Bahrain, has announced the launch of its new Sport 24, the 24-hour live sports channel produced by IMG Media, broadcast of the Formula One™ races, including the 2012 FORMULA 1™ GULF AIR BAHRAIN GRAND PRIX race hosted in Sakhir on ‘SkyHub’, Gulf Air’s comprehensive and entertainment solution. The addition to the airline’s onboard Global Live Television services offer fans the opportunity to watch uninterrupted races onboard throughout the F1™ season.
Gulf Air also announced its milestone of retrofitting 86% of its A330-200 fleet with the new ‘SkyHub’, offering passengers onboard full broadband connectivity to access internet, mobile phone services and, for the first time in the world, live television content onboard. The Panasonic’s Global Communications Suite will complete installation across Gulf Air’s entire fleet of aircraft by summer 2012.
Gulf Air Chief Executive Officer Mr. Samer Majali said, “It is another important milestone in our journey as we continuously improve our customer service and offered products, in particular in our latest inflight entertainment system, ‘Sky Hub’ on our fleet.”
“By providing our travellers with an opportunity to experience and follow the Formula One races, we are catering to our international motor sports fans across our network. Our valued customers can also enjoy a fully integrated broadband connectivity offering high speed internet, 3G-4G mobile data speed, voice over the internet (VOIP), streaming videos and the world's first in-flight live TV satellite stream across continents.”
Richard Wise, Senior Vice President, IMG Media, said: “Sport 24 is revolutionizing the way passengers watch live sports on Airlines and Cruise Ships. For the first time ever viewers will be able to enjoy live coverage of the Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix and the 2012 F1 season while travelling on business or holidaying abroad. Sport fans will no longer have to miss their favourite team, or event on this new dedicated sports channel.”
Using Panasonic’s Global Communications Suite, Gulf Air will offers two-way broadband connectivity at speeds of up to 50 Mbps enabling faster browsing, chatting and other internet based services. Gulf Air will offer deeply immersive, content-rich entertainment in addition to live, uninterrupted television services on routes across Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Travelers will no longer have to wait in anxiety until they land to find out scores from their favorite sporting events or news from around the world. Now they can watch the F1™ races from around the world on Sport 24, their favourite football teams on IMG Media’s Barclays Premier League channel or keep up with world events on favorite news channels such as BBC World News, BBC Arabic and Euronews.
Passengers are also able to browse the web at broadband speeds, and access social media services such as Facebook and Twitter. In addition, business travelers can access their virtual private network (VPN) to send and receive emails while watching live-news and stock market updates at 35,000 feet. They simply need to turn on their personal device, connect to the in-flight Wi-Fi network, and log into the service through Deutsche Telekom, the wireless internet service provider onboard.