Viasat‘s high-speed inflight wifi connectivity will soon fly farther on SAS. The two announced a deal at APEX EXPO this week for two new types to be retrofitted with the Ka-band connectivity solution. Unlike the current short/mid-haul SAS fleet these planes are intended to fly transatlantic routes with the Viasat hardware on board.
A trio of A321LRs, leased from ALC, will join the fleet starting in H1 2020. The aircraft has sufficient range to reach Northeast US, one of the most important intercontinental markets for SAS. The A321LR can also reach destinations in Canada, the Middle East and India from Scandinavia.
The newest A330 for SAS, SE-REH delivered in July, will also get the Viasat kit installed. This will create a split fleet configuration for the SAS wide bodies, potentially skewing passenger expectations on board.
Adding the Viasat planes comes just months after Viasat chose to install the Inmarsat GX Aviation solution on its A350s as they begin to join the fleet at the end of 2019. That decision was tied to available coverage on the Ka-band network for the routes the planes fly. Inmarsat’s global footprint includes the Asian destinations the A350s will serve. The A330s are focused on the Americas making the Viasat coverage more viable for the new subfleets.
More from the 2019 APEX EXPO
- Gogo makes a China 2Ku play
- Cabin-wide Bluetooth audio to fly in 2021
- EL AL brings USB-C in-seat power online
- Viasat extends its SAS reach with long-haul planes
- JetBlue selects Thales AVANT for A220 IFE
- Moving Maps and much more coming to Vistara’s long-haul fleet
- PaxEx Update: APEX EXPO
- Inflight WiFi for JSX slips to 2020
- AERQ wants to be more than just a Welcome Board