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Airbus has launched a connectivity services business through the creation of a dedicated HAPS Services Business based around Zephyr, Airbus’ leading HAPS technology platform. This will help enable it to industrialise rapidly and begin serving a substantial total addressable market, providing low-latency connectivity services from the stratosphere for telecommunications and Earth observation applications. The new business is a subsidiary of Airbus Defence and Space.
Following on from recent successful test flight campaigns the solar-powered Zephyr has established itself as the leading HAPS platform in the world. With the company now set to offer telecommunications services via its platform, it will play a crucial role in helping to bridge the digital divide through connecting the unconnected on land, air and sea.
To help lead its ambitious growth plans, Samer Halawi has been appointed as Chief Executive Officer of the new business. Most recently Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer at Intelsat, Samer is a seasoned Telecom executive with more than 30 years’ experience in Telecommunications and Global Satellite Communications, as well as Automotive and Investment Banking. He brings experience and expertise in building and transforming successful companies.
“With thousands of flight hours in the stratosphere and an admirable entrepreneurial spirit, the Zephyr team are well placed to develop future connectivity services. This is an exciting time for the team, building on our success with the leading HAPS, and it is now time for the next step,” said Samer Halawi.
Samer’s leadership team will be boosted by the appointment of Taz Esmail as Chief Financial Officer. Taz joins from her most recent role as CFO at Meta Aerospace; with extensive experience in the aviation, aerospace and defence sectors having worked in both listed and blue-chip private equity environments.
“Our connectivity services will provide a viable alternative and complement to terrestrial and satellite-based connectivity solutions, allowing for the first time low-latency and direct-to-device connectivity across vast geographies, and economically. Our sustainable technology allows us to save and improve people’s lives whilst ensuring a better outcome for our planet”, added Halawi.
With over 3.7 billion people unserved or severely underserved by current terrestrial and space-based telecommunications networks, Airbus and Zephyr are reimagining connectivity, and working towards bridging the digital divide, offering state-of-the-art connectivity service to commercial, defence and institutional customers across the globe.