The newest delivery to Alaska Airlines entered service last week with a special addition on board. Ship N927VA, an A321neo, is now flying throughout the Alaska Airlines network with Gogo‘s 2Ku inflight internet service installed. This is the first Alaska Airlines aircraft to operate with the kit. Installation took place in Miami following delivery of the aircraft from Airbus‘s Finkenwerder final assembly line in Hamburg, Germany.
Alaska Airlines is set to fully convert its fleet of Airbus and Boeing jets to the Gogo 2Ku connectivity solution. The retrofits will begin this year as well, with 40-50 aircraft expected to carry the new system by the end of 2018. The full fleet conversion is scheduled for completion by early 2020. Delivery of N926VA is expected imminently, with the 2Ku installation coming on that one as well.
— Tobi (@Tobias_Gudat) March 23, 2018
There is something slightly poetic about the fact that the first Alaska Airlines plane to carry 2Ku is a legacy of Virgin America‘s order book. Virgin America was the first carrier to fully fit its (admittedly small) fleet with the Gogo ATG system and then the first to deploy the ATG4 upgrade when that became available. That it is now the first of Alaska Airlines’ fleet to carry 2Ku seems fitting.
Thanks to @AirlineFlyer for spotting assistance.