Chalk up another 230+ Delta Air Lines aircraft to be converted to the Viasat in-flight connectivity platform. The companies announced additional fleet types that will comprise nearly the entire single-aisle fleet for the carrier once the conversion is complete.
By equipping more than 230 additional aircraft with Viasat IFC, Delta is validating how the system can scale. We have a proven in-flight connectivity solution that will meet the demands of Delta customers today and the expected increase in demand in the future.– Don Buchman, Viasat vice president and general manager, Commercial Aviation
In addition to the connectivity services for passengers, Viasat confirms that the new solution will deliver live television to in-seat screens for passengers, integrating with the existing platforms from third party suppliers and Delta Flight Products..
Delta and Viasat previously announced more than 300 single-aisle aircraft would have the Ka-band satellite service installed. That deal focused on the A321ceo, 737-900ER, and 757-200 types. The new announcement adds planes from the following fleets:
- Airbus 321neo
- Airbus 220-300
- Boeing 737-800
- Airbus 320ceo
- Airbus 319
The announcement notes only “select aircraft” will be fitted with the Viasat solution. This will include retrofit of existing aircraft in the fleet, transitioning from the current 2Ku solution by Intelsat to the Viasat platform.
Inclusion of the A321neo planes could also see new deliveries to Delta fitted with Viasat’s kit initially rather than a conversion. The A321neo deliveries are expected to begin in 2022.
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Delta originally stated they wanted two providers to keep pricing competitive. This latest announcement seems like a full on move away from Gogo. As of this writing it looks like Gogo’s Ku solution will remain on their B767’s and Gogo’s ATG solution on the Delta Connection fleet.
The 2Ku system performed well and is relatively young, any ideas why Delta seems to be dissatisfied with Gogo?
Seth Miller says
For now 2Ku is staying on all the long-haul planes. That could change as Viasat’s global constellation matures, but we’re a few years from that being viable.
I have to assume that the costs for capacity dropped enough that Delta found it more than compelling. It’ll be interesting to see how that evolves into it potentially being free to consumers down the line.