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Viasat to connect 230 Delta aircraft with IFC

May 26, 2021

By Chris Forrester

Viasat of California is to equip at least 230 Delta Air Lines with its In Flight Connectivity (IFC) broadband solution. Viasat adds that it is ready for a rebound in air passenger traffic as the pandemic ends.

The aircraft, all part of Delta’s US domestic fleet and including its Airbus 321neo, Airbus 220-300, Boeing 737-800, Airbus 320ceo and Airbus 319 fleets will be retrofitted with Viasat’s next-generation Ka-band satellite technology. This new aircraft award is in addition to the more than 300 Delta aircraft already announced in January 2021.

In total some 1480 aircraft are carrying Viasat IFC kit including United, American and Jet Blue as well as Delta.

“With Viasat’s innovative satellite technology – featuring enhanced capacity, quality and speed – Delta customers can stream video or music, browse websites, connect to email, use apps and more—all on their own personal electronic devices. Additionally, a single Viasat high-capacity Ka-band satellite antenna will power IFC while simultaneously providing live TV access to the seatback screens,” says Viasat.

“By equipping more than 230 additional aircraft with Viasat IFC, Delta is validating how the system can scale,” said Don Buchman, Viasat’s VP/GM Commercial Aviation. “We have a proven in-flight connectivity solution that will meet the demands of Delta customers today and the expected increase in demand in the future.”

Viasat adds: “Select Delta aircraft will be outfitted with Viasat’s latest Ka-band IFC system and will be compatible with Viasat’s complete network of satellites, including Viasat’s first-generation spacecraft and partner satellites, its second-generation spacecraft ViaSat-2, and the forthcoming ViaSat-3 constellation, which is expected to offer global coverage with nearly eight times more capacity than Viasat’s current fleet. Viasat’s IFC solution is an ideal offering to meet both current and future demand, as Delta expects increases for enhanced passenger connectivity and streaming services.”

As to Viasat’s financials for the year, the operator reported a 2 per cent fall in revenue to $2.256 billion, but net income rose to a $4 million profit compared to a $200,000 loss the previous year.

Viasat’s home satellite broadband subscribers totalled 590,000 at March 31st, down from a peak of 603,000 last September.

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