ViaSat’s Gen-2 inflight internet system is set to board transatlantic airline flights for the first time, thanks to Icelandair, ViaSat said. Icelandair plans to tap into ViaSat-2 and provide its passengers with full internet and streaming services.
"This is a watershed moment for ViaSat, as this is the first time an airline will use our technology to offer full internet connectivity and internet streaming to passengers over the Atlantic Ocean," said Don Buchman, VP and general manager of commercial mobility at ViaSat. "This boldly speaks to Icelandair's commitment to ensuring passenger comfort and loyalty while showing how far ViaSat has taken the in-flight internet industry in just a matter of years."
Icelandair plans to equip the ViaSat solution across its fleet of 16 Boeing 737MAXs through post-delivery modification. Connectivity would be delivered from Icelandair’s 18 North American gateways and more than 25 destinations in Europe. ViaSat’s ViaSat-2 Ka-band satellite network is above North America and the Atlantic Ocean. The connection would be switched to the European KA-SAT network, which is part-owned by ViaSat through a joint venture with Eutelsat, in those locations. Installation is expected to begin March next year and continue through 2020.