Advanced Television

Delta Airlines selects Hughes for IFC

November 1, 2023

By Chris Forrester

EchoStar-owned Hughes Network Systems has been selected to serve Delta Airlines with its In-Flight broadband and WiFi connectivity in a major contract.

Delta is the world’s second largest airline and serves some 171 million passengers annually (American Airlines is larger at 199 million passengers, although Delta has the highest annual revenues at some $51 billion).

The Delta deal secures broadband service on more than 400 Boeing 717 and regional jets serving North America. Designed for commercial aircraft, the weight-optimised, high-performance aeronautical solution combines the advanced artificial intelligence and machine learning powered Hughes In-Flight management system with a multi-orbit antenna and Hughes Jupiter Ka-band satellite capacity.

It will deliver in-flight connectivity (IFC) even over busy airport hubs. This solution enables a consistent passenger IFC experience at scale across the entire aircraft’s itinerary.

“Hughes welcomes Delta and appreciates their collaborative approach to enabling an enhanced connectivity experience for their regional passengers,” said Reza Rasoulian, vice president, Hughes. “Travelers expect a reliable Wi-Fi experience wherever they go, including in the air; the Hughes In-Flight connectivity solution enables Delta to meet that expectation with fast gate-to-gate connectivity.”

“Delta is committed to delivering a reliable Wi-Fi experience to all our passengers, including those flying on our regional carriers,” added Glenn Latta, MD/In-flight Entertainment and Connectivity, Delta. “Our partnership with Hughes to create a low-weight, high-capability, gate-to-gate solution for our regional fleet brings us ever closer to fleet-wide connectivity at the speed and reliability our customers expect and unlocks our ability to elevate the experience further in the years to come.”

The installation of Hughes equipment is already underway.

Hughes says the system is capable of operating on Jupiter-enabled Ka-band high-throughput satellites around the world, Hughes In-Flight supports seamless roaming across Jupiter-driven satellites. The solution is forward-compatible with the Hughes Jupiter 3 ultra-high-density satellite, the largest commercial communications satellite ever built, which launched in July and will enter service later this year. It is also compatible with additional Ka-band satellite systems, providing airlines an onramp to even wider coverage and lower latency services as they come online. Globally, Jupiter System technology remains the de facto standard for satellite connectivity with proven performance.

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