Porter Airlines has selected Viasat for in-flight connectivity (IFC) on its 30 new Embraer E195-E2 aircraft,

Porter Airlines opts for Viasat in-flight connectivity

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Porter Airlines has selected Viasat for in-flight connectivity (IFC) on its 30 new Embraer E195-E2 aircraft,

Porter Airlines has selected Viasat for in-flight connectivity (IFC) on its 30 new Embraer E195-E2 aircraft, as it looks to grow beyond its current regional eastern Canada- and US-focused network.

The new aircraft will be linefit with Viasat’s high-speed, reliable in-flight internet system and are expected to enter service in the second half of 2022.

“Introducing the E2 into Porter’s fleet gives us the ability to serve customers across North America,” said Kevin Jackson, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer. “Using Viasat’s technology allows us to create a distinct digital passenger experience for longer routes that builds on our award-winning approach to hospitality.”

Don Buchman, Viasat Vice President and General Manager, Commercial Aviation, said: “From our initial conversations with the Porter Airlines team, it was clear they place a high-value and emphasis on delivering an enhanced experience. Our proven IFC system delivers on this promise, which enables their passengers to benefit from the speeds, capacity and coverage offered by our ViaSat-2 satellite today, as well as our next-generation satellite constellation, ViaSat-3, in the future.”

Embraer E2 family

Viasat IFC become linefit option on Embraer E2 aircraft

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Embraer E2 family

Viasat has become the first Ka-band IFC supplier to have a line-fit IFC solution available on the Embraer E2 family having secured a Buyer-Furnished Equipment (BFE) agreement with Embraer.

Rodrigo Silva e Souza, VP Marketing, Embraer Commercial Aviation, commented: “At Embraer, we pride ourselves on building the world’s most efficient aircraft in their category, as well as on continuously pursuing advancements in technologies that help improve passenger comfort and experience. With Viasat’s IFC system now line-fit available, we are enabling our airline customers to offer a highly optimised in-flight Wi-Fi experience that will keep them highly-competitive and will allow them to delight their passengers.”

Embraer delivered its E195-E2 type certificate with Viasat IFC line-fit to an airline customer in 2020.

Viasat and Inmarsat

Viasat to acquire Inmarsat

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Viasat and Inmarsat

Viasat is to acquire Inmarsat in transaction valued at US$7.3 billion subject to regulatory approval.

The definitive agreement, which Rick Baldridge, Viasat’s President and CEO called “a major moment for in-flight connectivity and the satellite industry as a whole” during a conference call, is expected to close in the second half of calendar year 2022.

Both companies are nearing the end of unusually capital investment cycle within the next 24-6 months. Inmarsat has recently launched its OneFi, ELERA and ORCHESTRA solutions while Viasat has invested in its business aviation services and is preparing for the launch of ViaSat-3 (Americas) which is expected to launch early calendar year 2022.

The combined company will make use of the interoperability opportunities offered by their respective network to offer customers greater choice, greater customer service through higher speeds, more bandwidth, greater density of bandwidth at high demand locations like airport hubs and lower latency at lower cost.

An advanced architecture will make use of multi-band, multi-orbit satellites and terrestrial air-to-ground systems through the fusion of complementary spectrum, satellite and terrestrial assets of both companies into a “global high-capacity hybrid space and terrestrial network, capable of delivering superior services in fast-growing commercial and government sectors.”

The combined company will have a fleet of 19 satellites (10 Ka-, 8 L- and 1-S band) in service with an additional 10 spacecraft under construction and planned for launch within the next three years, including eight GEOs. The global Ka-band footprint, including Inmarsat’s planned polar coverage, will be augmented by a revitalisation of L-band assets that support all-weather resilience and highly reliable, narrowband and IoT connectivity.

“This is a transformative combination that advances our common ambitions to connect the world. The unique fusion of teams, technologies and resources provides the ingredients and scale needed for profitable growth through the creation and delivery of innovative broadband and IoT services in new and existing fast-growing segments and geographies,” said Viasat’s Executive Chairman Mark Dankberg. “Inmarsat’s dual-band global mobile network, unique L-band resources, skills and capabilities in the UK and excellent technical and operational talent worldwide, are powerful complements to Viasat’s business. Together, we can advance broadband communications and create new hybrid space and terrestrial networks that drive greater performance, coverage, speed, reliability and value for customers. We look forward to welcoming the Inmarsat team into the Viasat family.”

“Joining with Viasat is the right combination for Inmarsat at the right time,” said Rajeev Suri, CEO of Inmarsat. “Viasat is a terrific innovator and Inmarsat brings some powerful additions: global reach, a broad distribution channel, robust business momentum and a presence in highly attractive global mobility segments. Together, the two companies will create a new global player with the scale and scope to help shape the future of a dynamic and growing industry.”

During the period prior to the closing of the transaction, Viasat expects members of Inmarsat’s management team to continue to execute its strategy and provide leadership, in-depth industry knowledge and customer relationship support. Decisions regarding management of the combined company following the closing of the transaction will be made as part of the integration planning process.

Delta has announced new Delta Studio collections and premium content for its in-flight entertainment library.

Delta partners with Peloton as part of Autumn IFE refresh

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Delta has announced new Delta Studio collections and premium content for its in-flight entertainment library.

Delta has announced new Delta Studio collections and premium content for its in-flight entertainment library.

“A fresh selection of entertainment means customers can catch the latest box-office hits, rediscover an old favourite or stream their favourite tunes when they fly on Delta this holiday season,” said Katie Stuart, Product Manager, Delta Studio.

In recent years, Delta has continued to invest in its in-flight entertainment experience. Only the airline’s Boeing 717 fleet are not equipped with seatback screens, meaning new content introduced this month is available on nearly all routes.

Passengers travelling in November and December will have access to over 100 films with 56 new releases, and more than 500 TV episodes from top Hollywood studios on Delta. Highly anticipated new releases featured include Stillwater, Free Guy and No Sudden Move.

For the first time, HBO Max selections will be available exclusively to Delta passengers. These include a new feature collection with HBO Max favourites Friends: The Reunion, Love Life, Raised by Wolves and more.

New content is hand-selected by teams at Delta after reviewing historical performance data to better understand the content customers want more of. Content and collections on Delta Studio are refreshed monthly.

In addition, Delta also has partnered with interactive fitness platform Peloton to offer a new Classes in the Clouds collection of wellbeing-focused content exclusively for Delta customers. This is the first time that Peloton content will be offered on a non-Peloton platform and is the latest step the company is taking to create content that is accessible to help its members stay active.

The 5-to-20-minute stretching and meditation classes are taught by Peloton Yoga and Meditation Instructors Anna Greenberg, Chelsea Jackson Roberts and Ross Rayburn, as well as Tread and Strength Instructors Matty Maggiacomo and Adrian Williams.

More than 200 Delta aircraft are now equipped with fast-streaming Viasat Wi-Fi, with the airline on track to complete more than 300 installations by year end. Customers on these aircraft can stream and browse their favourite sites at fast speeds for a simple, flat rate of US$5 per device no matter the length of the flight. Free messaging is also available, ensuring customers can stay connected to friends and family on the ground. Delta plans to equip nearly all its domestic mainline fleet with enhanced connectivity by the end of 2022.

Viasat has extended its Ka-band in-flight connectivity (IFC) coverage for its business aviation services across Brazil.

Viasat extends Ka-band IFC coverage to Brazil

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Viasat has extended its Ka-band in-flight connectivity (IFC) coverage for its business aviation services across Brazil.

Viasat has extended its Ka-band in-flight connectivity (IFC) coverage for its business aviation services across Brazil.

In Brazil, Viasat’s IFC system will leverage capacity on its Ka-band partner satellite, SGDC-1 (Geostationary Satellite for Defense and Strategic Communications), owned by Brazilian state-owned telecommunications services provider Telebras. Business aircraft operating in the country will be able to access Viasat’s advanced connectivity from takeoff to touchdown—at speeds typically greater than 20 Mbps—enabling passengers to do the same connected activities in the air as they do on the ground, including video, music and TV streaming, video calls, VPN and more.

Additionally, Viasat Business Aviation will soon provide  expanded coverage and capacity across parts of Europe and the Middle East on the Avanti Communication Group’s HYLAS-4 and HYLAS-2 satellites.

“We’re excited to bring additional coverage for our advanced in-flight connectivity solution to the business aviation markets in Brazil and, in the near future, Europe and the Middle East,” said Claudio D’Amico, Business Area Director, Business Aviation. “This coverage expansion will enable us to extend connectivity for existing operators, pursue new business in these important regions, and further establish Viasat’s market presence globally.”

Viasat expects to augment coverage and capacity in these regions in the future with its ViaSat-3 satellite constellation.

Viasat posts record revenues

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Viasat has revealed record Q1 fiscal year 2022.

Satellite Services revenue increased to US$274 million, a 36% increase YoY. Gains were partially driven by improving in-flight connectivity (IFC) service revenues as passengers return to air travel. In Commercial Networks Viasat saw the top line expand sharply by 77% YoY, totalling $119 million for the quarter. The main growth drivers were accelerating mobile terminal deliveries primarily in support of Delta Air Lines and their updated Wi-Fi service launch this year, as well as continued growth in its ground antenna systems business. Icelandair began flying its Viasat-equipped aircraft on transatlantic flights between the US and Europe

Viasat’s IFC business continued to recover both YoY and sequentially. The company’s airline partners returned more aircraft to service, with the number of active aircraft increasing to approximately 1,400 (on an installed base of 1,550 aircraft) at the end of Q1 FY2022, up over 80% YoY.

American Airlines brings TikTok onboard

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American Airlines has added TikTok to its free in-flight offerings. In a promotional trail, passengers travelling on Viasat-equipped narrowbody aircraft can get 30-minutes of free access to TikTok.

“Faster Wi-Fi allows us to deliver diverse in-flight entertainment options and invest in innovative partnerships with platforms like TikTok,” said Clarissa Sebastian, American’s Managing Director of Premium Customer Experience and Onboard Products. “Customers play the lead role in helping us better understand what content they want during their in-flight experience and TikTok is one of the platforms they love on the ground, and we’re thrilled to work with Viasat to give customers free access to TikTok while they’re in the air as well.”

Icelandair’s Boeing 737 MAX-9 aircraft.

Icelandair to turn on Viasat IFC on 737 MAX-9 fleet

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Icelandair’s Boeing 737 MAX-9 aircraft.

Viasat has received EASA certification for its in-flight connectivity system onboard Icelandair’s Boeing 737 MAX-9 aircraft.

IFC system was installed earlier this year, but it had been deactivated pending the certificate from EASA. The MAX-9 aircraft will now join Icelandair’s MAX-8 fleet, providing connectivity to passengers flying between the US and Europe via scenic Iceland. This service launched on MAX-8 aircraft in March 2021.

Icelandair expects all Viasat-enabled aircraft to be installed by April 2022.

“We are honoured to work alongside the highly motivated Icelandair team in accomplishing this major milestone,” said Don Buchman, VP/GM, Commercial Aviation at Viasat. “As passengers increasingly return to air travel, the importance of great in-flight Wi-Fi is paramount, and Icelandair is providing customers a great connectivity experience so they can do what they want online while in the air.”

The Viasat-equipped Icelandair aircraft will connect to Viasat’s high-capacity satellite network. Over Europe, this network includes the KA-SAT satellite and could include others like Avanti’s Hylas constellation in the future. When traveling over the US, Iceland and the Atlantic Ocean, the aircraft will connect with several other Viasat satellites, including ViaSat-2.

In the future, these aircraft will be able to link to the company’s next-generation satellite constellation, ViaSat-3. The ViaSat-3 constellation includes three ultra-high-capacity satellites that will offer global coverage, with each expected to deliver over 1 Terabit per second of total network throughput.

Flexjet Embraer Preator 600

Flexjet chooses Viasat for in-flight connectivity services

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Flexjet Embraer Preator 600

Flexjet will become the first fractional operator to bring high-speed Ka-band connectivity to super-mid jets following a partnership with Viasat Inc.

Under the partnership Viasat will provide high-speed Ka-band IFC service on Flexjet’s Embraer Praetor 600 super-mid cabin fleet, which serves transatlantic and domestic European routes. Additionally, the partnership will provide Viasat’s Ku-band IFC service to Flexjet’s Bombardier Global and Gulfstream G450 and G650 aircraft with a path to transition these aircraft to Viasat’s Ka-band system in the future.

Installations of Viasat’s Ku-band system are being handled by maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) partner Constant Aviation.

“When we began evaluating IFC partners to improve our existing connectivity, it became clear that Viasat’s products and services would enhance it on more devices across more of our fleet—which will boost the value of our owners’ flight experiences,” said Flexjet Chief Operating Officer Megan Wolf. “We also appreciated their satellite roadmap—which would ensure the IFC investments we’re making today will meet the increasing data demands of tomorrow.”

“By working in close partnership with Flexjet, we tailored our solution so they could gain advantages from both our Ku- and Ka-band solutions,” said Claudio D’Amico, Viasat’s Business Area Director, Business Aviation. “We felt it was critical to work closely with Flexjet to create an IFC solution that was both economically sustainable and technically strong for their long-term commitment needs. We have confidence this deal will lead to a long-standing relationship that will continue to grow as we bring on more global capacity to serve more of Flexjet’s aircraft—in both Europe and the US.”

JetBlue A321neo tail fin

JetBlue sticks with Viasat for Live TV and connectivity services

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JetBlue A321neo tail fin

JetBlue has selected Viasat’s in-flight connectivity (IFC) solution for its new Airbus A220-300 and Airbus A321 Long Range (LR) aircraft. On both aircraft types, Viasat will continue to power JetBlue’s popular high-speed IFC service, which it has delivered since 2013, allowing customers to stream video and music, browse websites, connect to email, use apps and more—all for free on their own personal electronic devices.

Additionally, Viasat will provide its live in-flight TV solution to both aircraft seatback entertainment systems, delivering real-time broadcast content via Viasat’s high-capacity satellite network.

JetBlue is the first airline with an A220 offering Viasat connectivity, providing customers the ability to connect multiple devices to stream, surf, or chat during the entire flight, from gate to gate (subject to local regulations of the departure/arrival country). This also marks the first time Viasat is delivering as many as 30 live channels to a seatback entertainment system. A single Viasat high-capacity Ka-band satellite antenna will power both the in-flight connectivity and the TV channel distribution, provided by DIRECTV.

The first of JetBlue’s A220 aircraft entered into service on 26 April, 2021.

Viasat will similarly provide both high-speed IFC and live in-flight TV service on 13 of JetBlue’s A321 LR aircraft with an option for JetBlue to add more in the future. Customers in both the core and Mint seating areas will be able to go online for free throughout the flight by connecting to the airline’s popular unlimited, free high-speed Wi-Fi service, known as Fly-Fi, powered by Viasat. In addition, Viasat will provide a curated selection of five International live in-flight TV channels focused on news and sports.

Don Buchman, Viasat Vice President and General Manager, Commercial Aviation, said: “Our long-standing relationship and history of service with JetBlue continues with the A220 and A321 LR aircraft. By selecting Viasat for both IFC and live in-flight TV on both fleets, JetBlue continues to leverage Viasat’s expansive satellite network to bring an exceptional connected experience to customers—a partnership and program that we’re incredibly proud of.”