Jet It will add the “LiTE” configuration of SmartSky’s in-flight connectivity system to its fleet of HondaJet Elite and Gulfstream G150 aircraft, according to an announcement made this week. (Photo courtesy of SmartSky)
Jet It, the North Carolina-based business aviation operator, will install the light jet version of SmartSky’s in-flight connectivity (IFC) system across its fleet of HondaJet Elites and Gulfstream G150s.
SmartSky announced Jet It’s selection of its “LiTE” system on Monday, noting that Jet It will become the first business jet fleet operator to modify its aircraft with the configuration of its IFC technology developed for light jet and turboprop aircraft. SmartSky first launched the light jet version of its connectivity system in 2018 targeting aircraft with up to 19,000 pounds max takeoff weight (MTOW). The system has the ability to simultaneously connect up to six onboard devices to the in-flight internet service.
“At Jet It, we focus on providing our members an ownership experience without compromise, and selecting SmartSky for our fleet-wide fast connectivity solution is no exception,” Glenn Gonzales, CEO and founder of Jet It, said in a statement. “Their advanced technology and hardware combined with a choice of configurations is a great fit for both our HondaJet and Gulfstream aircraft where we will be able to support both passenger and operational connectivity needs.”
Jet It added 13 new aircraft to its fleet, including two Gulfstream G150s, and launched a new brand, Jet Club, that expands their “day-use” fractional ownership model to Europe. Between the two brands, Jet It and Jet Club now have 23 total HondaJet and Gulfstream aircraft in operation. Gonzales first launched Jet It in 2018 with a unique business model that uses days rather than hours to sell shares of aircraft to customers, allowing owners to only pay for the direct operating costs of the aircraft.
Jet It is also now also “Honda’s largest aircraft buyer and operator in the world,” according to a Dec. 31 update on the operational and fleet expansion they achieved last year.
SmartSky expects its IFC network service, which is currently live, to become available for flight operations throughout CONUS airspace “this quarter,” according to a recent announcement. The company has also released several updates about its network on its website in recent months, including the data size and pricing for its business aviation service plans. The basic configuration for SmartSky’s system includes an aircraft base radio, a full-duplex quad antenna, and a blade antenna. Supplemental Type Certification for the LiTE configuration of their system is expected to occur by “the summer,” according to SmartSky.