Icelandair can once again claim in-flight wifi availability on 100% of its flights. The carrier’s 737 MAX fleet, fitted with Ka-band satellite connectivity from Viasat, began activation earlier this year and will accelerate thanks to a recently received certification on the MAX 9.
We are honored to work alongside the highly motivated Icelandair team in accomplishing this major milestone. As passengers increasingly return to air travel, the importance of great inflight Wi-Fi is paramount, and Icelandair is providing customers a great connectivity experience so they can do what they want online while in the air.– Don Buchman, VP/GM, Commercial Aviation at Viasat
The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) granted Viasat a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC), allowing its industry-leading in-flight connectivity (IFC) system to operate on Icelandair’s Boeing 737 MAX-9 aircraft in June 2021. With this in hand the companies can now activate the system fitted on board those planes.
The IFC system was installed earlier this year, but it had been deactivated pending the certificate from EASA. The MAX-9 aircraft will now join Icelandair’s MAX-8 fleet, providing connectivity to passengers flying between the U.S. and Europe via scenic Iceland.
This service launched on MAX-8 aircraft in March 2021 and has already been enjoyed by thousands of Icelandair passengers.
The Viasat-equipped Icelandair aircraft will connect to Viasat’s high-capacity satellite network. Over Europe, this network includes the KA-SAT satellite and could include others like Avanti’s Hylas constellation in the future. When traveling over the U.S., Iceland and the Atlantic Ocean, the aircraft will connect with several other Viasat satellites, including ViaSat-2. And, eventually, the ViaSat-3 satellites will provide capacity to the aircraft once they enter orbit.
Icelandair currently has nine 737 MAX aircraft in its fleet, all with the Viasat IFC solution on board. The carrier expects to take delivery of another three next year, with the full MAX fleet in service (and connected via satellite-based internet) by April 2022.
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