Viasat's in-flight connectivity is being added to a mix of business jets operated by Flexjet LLC, including the Embraer Praetor 600 pictured here. (Flexjet)
Flexjet LLC is bringing Viasat in-flight connectivity (IFC) to its fleet of Bombardier Globals, Embraer Praetor 600s, and Gulfstream G450/G650 aircraft, through a new partnership between the two companies, according to a June 17 press release.
The new partnership will install Viasat’s Ka-band IFC service on the Flexjet Praetor 600 fleet while adding the Ku-band version of the service to the Globals, G450s, and G650s owned and operated by Flexjet. According to Viasat, Flexjet has already begun receiving Praetor 600s equipped with its Ka-band system, which can enable in-flight connection speeds greater than 20 Mbps.
"When we began evaluating IFC partners to improve our existing connectivity, it became clear that Viasat's products and services would enhance it on more devices across more of our fleet—which will boost the value of our Owners' flight experiences," Flexjet Chief Operating Officer Megan Wolf said in the release. "We also appreciated their satellite roadmap—which would ensure the IFC investments we're making today will meet the increasing data demands of tomorrow."
Flexjet’s Viasat selection for the mix of Bombardier, Embraer, and Gulfstream jets comes a year after the satellite communications provider removed all internet speed caps from its entire Ka-band coverage area and added a new 200 GB data tier for business jet operators. The removal makes unlimited connectivity available to business jets equipped with Viasat’s Global Aero Terminal 5510 on the ViaSat-1, ViaSat-2, and European Ka-band satellite service.
Ohio-based Constant Aviation, aircraft maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) partner to Flexjet, will provide installation of the Ku-band system across the Bombardier and Gulfstream jets that are receiving the upgrade. Viasat is also offering “an easy upgrade path from Ku-band to Ka-band,” for those jets that are receiving the Ku-band version.
"By working in close partnership with Flexjet, we tailored our solution so they could gain advantages from both our Ku- and Ka-band solutions," Claudio D'Amico, Viasat's business area director, business aviation. "We felt it was critical to work closely with Flexjet to create an IFC solution that was both economically sustainable and technically strong for their long-term commitment needs. We have confidence this deal will lead to a long-standing relationship that will continue to grow as we bring on more global capacity to serve more of Flexjet's aircraft—in both Europe and the U.S."