Brazil’s Azul will add inflight wifi connectivity to its planes with Viasat acting as the network integrator. The deal covers more than 100 combined Airbus A320neo and Embraer E195-E2 aircraft for the carrier. These two types are new deliveries for the carrier. Viasat suggests a more formal announcement of the service offering will be forthcoming at a later point in time.
The connectivity will leverage Telebras’s SGDC (Geostationary Satellite for Defense and Strategic Communications) Ka-band satellite. Viasat also uses that satellite for its terrestrial hotspot services in the Brazilian market. Based on the announcement it does not appear that the carrier will retrofit the existing fleet with connectivity.
Azul was an early adopter of live television on board as entertainment, borrowing from the experience founder David Neeleman had at JetBlue when he brought that carrier to market. But the company held off on connectivity until now. The increased satellite capacity coming online changed the economics of delivering the service in Brazil and its domestic fleet, serving the most destinations of any airline, will benefit from the full national coverage available from the Telebras satellite.