Intelsat Lands In-flight Connectivity Deal with Latam Airlines for Airbus Fleet

By Rachel Jewett | February 9, 2022
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LATAM Airlines is adding satellite connectivity from Intelsat to its fleet of A320ceo and A320neo—including the first A320neo delivered to LATAM, pictured here—aircraft. (Airbus)

LATAM Airlines Group plans to bring Intelsat’s in-flight connectivity (IFC) services to its Airbus fleet of up to 160 narrow body aircraft. This includes the A320ceo and A320neo variants, based in Chile, Ecuador, Peru, and Colombia.

LATAM Airlines Group has previously worked with Intelsat to equip its aircraft based in Brazil with IFC, and the deal announced Monday expands the reach of Intelsat’s 2Ku system. Airbus will install Intelsat’s 2Ku system on approximately 70 new aircraft before delivering the planes to LATAM. Installation is expected to take up to three years to complete, and will include LATAM’s entire fleet of narrow body aircraft.

“At Intelsat, our mission is to provide quality, reliable connectivity for work and entertainment which is essential for airline partners and passengers alike,” said Dave Bijur, senior vice president of Commercial for Intelsat Commercial Aviation. “LATAM is an important customer to us and we look forward to providing their passengers across South America with the exceptional customer service not just today and tomorrow but for decades to come.”

Intelsat has been growing its IFC business after acquiring Gogo’s Commercial Aviation business in 2020. Last week, the operator signed a capacity agreement with Sky Perfect JSAT to use its capacity over Japan and Asia for IFC services. And Intelsat recently ordered two new satellites from Thales Alenia Space that will cover Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Asia for mobility services, including aviation and cellular backhaul.

LATAM's deal with Intelsat is the latest investment in the A320 family fleet operated by the airline following an announcement in September to upgrade the same fleet with Airbus’ “Descent Profile Optimisation” (DPO) function – a fuel-saving enhancement to the aircraft’s on-board Flight Management System (FMS) performance database. The DPO function allows aircraft to descend from cruise altitude using only idle engine thrust, which reduces fuel consumption, bringing proportional CO2 and NOx (nitrogen oxide emissions) reductions, according to Airbus.


This article was first published by Via Satellite, a sister publication to Avionics International, it has been edited. To view the original version, click here.

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