ViaSat Inc. and Eutelsat Communications (NYSE Euronext Paris: ETL) continue to execute on their strategy to deliver high-quality satellite-based internet connectivity to the commercial air market in Europe. Finnair announced today it has signed an agreement with ViaSat to install a high-speed wireless internet network across the airline's entire Airbus A320 series short-haul fleet flying in Europe. Meanwhile, EL AL Israel Airlines is currently in customer trials and is expected to enter full retail service before the end of the 2016 calendar year.
Both airlines are committed to leveraging satellite connectivity to give passengers fast onboard Wi-Fi connections to surf the web, shop online, engage on social media and stream media at 35,000 feet.
ViaSat is the prime contractor to the airlines, making available its vertically-integrated in-flight internet system, inclusive of providing Supplemental Type Certificates (STCs); wireless IFE system support; passenger-facing access portals; and an end-to-end service that will leverage connectivity from ViaSat's partner, Eutelsat. The connectivity service uses KA-SAT, Eutelsat's high-capacity Ka-band broadband satellite whose service area spans Europe and the Mediterranean Basin.
"Our most recent contracts with EL AL and Finnair point to the continuation of the strong partnership between ViaSat and Eutelsat," said Mark Dankberg, ViaSat chairman and CEO. "ViaSat brings tremendous experience delivering in-flight internet systems to leading airlines and Eutelsat brings broadband connectivity. This partnership combines our expertise to bring value-based, best-in-class connectivity to the European airline carrier market."
Rodolphe Belmer, CEO of Eutelsat Communications, commented, "Together with ViaSat, we can deliver a high-quality in-flight internet experience that replicates the quality we are already giving many thousands of users on the ground and enables airlines serving Europe to deliver greater value to their customers."
Source: ViaSat, Inc.
Date: Sep 1, 2016