Viasat adds 150 Lufthansa aircraft with IFC
January 26, 2024
By Chris Forrester
German giant airline Lufthansa has selected Viasat’s Inmarsat satellites to equip more than 150 aircraft – across its own Lufthansa and subsidiary SWISS and Austrian Airlines fleets – with the European Aviation Network (EAN) in-flight connectivity (IFC) solution. The more than 150 extra aircraft include Airbus A320s, A320neos and A220s fleet versions.
The EAN technology combines S-band satellite coverage provided by Viasat with a ground component network operated by Deutsche Telekom for a service that supports streaming and other high bandwidth requirements. EAN is a pan-European IFC offering that uses small, low weight, low drag terminals specifically designed for narrow body aircraft.
Inmarsat, now a Viasat company, has provided Ka-band IFC service to Lufthansa Group since 2015. This connectivity solution is currently onboard 240 existing Lufthansa Group narrow-body aircraft. Lufthansa Group airlines also recently released a new version of its onboard portal, FlyNet, which will be accessible on EAN-equipped aircraft.
“We’re so pleased to continue our long-standing partnership with Lufthansa Group, bringing the consistent, seamless in-flight connectivity solution that passengers want via the European Aviation Network. With so many passengers set to benefit, we’re excited to see the impact that EAN has on Lufthansa, SWISS, and Austrian Airlines’ fleets – especially in helping them remain at the forefront of offering a superior passenger experience, no matter which intra-European route or aircraft they fly,” commented Don Buchman, GM and VP of Commercial Aviation at Viasat.
David Fox, VP/Inflight and Connectivity Services at Deutsche Telekom, said: “EAN is a game-changer in inflight connectivity. The service adapts perfectly to Europe’s unique telco infrastructure and provides an exceptional connectivity experience for passengers while they fly above the European continent. EAN also offers a highly compelling business case for carriers due to its lightweight, small and low maintenance equipment.”
This agreement further enhances the onboard experience for passengers, as Viasat’s 2023 Passenger Experience Survey found that 83 per cent of passengers surveyed would rebook with an airline that offered quality in-flight Wi-Fi, while 81 per cent say Wi-Fi is important to them. This showcases the importance of quality in-flight connectivity to passengers’ perceptions of an airline.