The aviation industry world continues to turn, with Delta Air Lines selecting Viasat’s technologies to its aircraft.
The airline will use Viasat’s Ka-band satellite in-flight connectivity for over 300 mainline narrow-body aircraft. It will be for both new deliveries and some retrofits, including:
- Airbus A321ceo
- Boeing 737-900ER
- Boeing 757-200 (Selected aircraft only)
Delta expects to bring the Viasat technology onboard these aircraft starting summer 2021, with Delta having the option to add additional fleets.
This will replace the existing Gogo installations on these fleets, as Delta moves away from the Ku based system.
According to Viasat, Ka-band satellite-powered connectivity should able to provide all customers with enhanced and reliable in-flight internet capabilities—including faster, more consistent connections and an ability to stream all types of entertainment and popular over-the-top content—to any internet-ready device, gate-to-gate.
The aircraft will be fitted with Viasat’s latest Ka-band IFC system, and will be compatible with Viasat’s complete fleet of satellites, including Viasat’s first-generation spacecraft and partner satellites; its second-generation spacecraft ViaSat-2, and the forthcoming ViaSat-3 class of satellites.
Bill Lentsch, chief customer experience officer, Delta said:
“We are constantly looking for new ways to delight our customers and offer an unparalleled onboard experience,”
“In working with Viasat, we gain the tools needed to deepen customer interactions and bring us closer to delivering more personalized in-flight content as well as an ability to consistently provide free, fast, streaming Wi-Fi in the future.”
Rick Baldridge, president and CEO, Viasat. said:
“Delta is committed to optimize the customer journey, and we’re committed to helping them build a foundation toward a better in-flight internet and entertainment experience,”
“We have a proven in-flight connectivity solution that is high-quality, streaming-capable and can scale to meet Delta’s growing customer demand. We’re proud to be part of their connected ecosystem.”
No free on-board internet… yet.
For those hoping Delta would deliver free wi-fi with this deal, you’re going to have to wait longer. In a Q&A, Ekrem Dimbiloglu, Director of Brand Experience – In-Flight Entertainment & Wi-Fi said the following
We are committed to delivering Free Wi-Fi in the future, and this is a significant step on that journey. Our Free Wi-Fi pilot in spring 2019 gave us valuable insights to better understand the challenges to providing a service that meets our standard – and having the right equipment was a key part of that. As Ed said at CES, delivering Free Wi-Fi that is high-quality and streaming capable requires thorough testing to ensure our technology can handle the demand.
Our vision for the future of travel will not come to life overnight. While we’ve had to shift our focus during the pandemic, our journey to offering the best customer experience possible has never stopped. Our teams are relentless in ensuring Delta customers have the very best experience onboard.
You’ll be paying for Wi-Fi onboard for some time to come
A big win for Viasat
With the recent acquisition of Gogo by Intelsat, it’s interesting to see Viasat hoover up the US business that Delta has offered in its update. That’s a big win for Viasat, who already has American Airlines as a supplier.
For Viasat – it’s a major win as they increase their footprint, as well as the confidence to continue building out its Viasat-3 network.
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