Delta’s newest A220 looks a bit different than the others. The radome atop the fuselage suggests that Delta has shifted inflight internet providers for the type.
Delivered to the company at the end of December, N315DU entered service on Sunday, with a more rounded radome on board. Prior A220s all entered service with the Intelsat 2Ku system on board. Based on the updated radome shape, the “Free Wi-Fi on Board” sticker by the door, and Delta’s general trend towards migration to Viasat as a provider, it appears that the A220 fleet is now making that transition.
This development partially answers one of the major questions around Delta’s plans for inflight Wi-Fi service as it moves forward with plans to make the service free on board. When it announced those plans three weeks ago, Delta said it would be free fleet-wide, but also not available on Intelsat-equipped planes. Equipping new A220 deliveries with the Viasat kit means those planes will be part of the free wifi service going forward.
Read more: Delta makes it official: Inflight WiFi will be free
Retrofit plans for the existing fleet are less clear. Presumably it is coming, and soon. Neither Delta nor Viasat were willing to confirm for such a program at the time of publication.
Similarly, Delta would appear likely to retrofit its long haul planes with the Viasat gear to meet its stated goal of offering fleet-wide free Wi-Fi by the end of 2024. Such a shift also remains pending formal confirmation.
Thanks to the sharp eyes of Jason Rabinowitz for helping spot this shift and Trevor C for helping to confirm it.
See below for an older Delta A220 with the notably flatter 2Ku radome on board.
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Wingman P says
I believe DL has announced that the A220-300 will all have the Viasat, while the A220-100 will keep the 2Ku. I believe the A220 pictured is the 300 version.
Seth Miller says
Yes, this is an A220-300. It is a new delivery and the first Delta A220 with the Viasat kit on board.
Still some open questions about how Delta has described the overall plan for migrating planes to the Viasat system, including which will be included and the timelines, unfortunately.