Japan Airlines confirmed expansion of its inflight internet deployment to part of its regional jet fleet. The carrier’s first E190 – operated by subsidiary J-AIR – officially returned to service with the Intelsat 2Ku hardware on board late last year. It was first spotted with the kit in mid-October. Neither JAL nor Intelsat would confirm the installation at that time.
We have worked closely with Intelsat to deliver the best connectivity experience on Japan Airlines and the JAL group fleet. Intelsat’s capable and reliable 2Ku system will provide miles of entertainment to our customers making J-AIR the first regional aircraft offering the IFC services in Japan.– Keisuke Suzuki, SVP, Customer Experience of Japan Airlines
JAL currently offers complimentary Ku-band satellite internet connectivity to passengers on domestic flights. The J-AIR E190s expands this offering, and it remains free for travelers. Passengers previously had access to wireless entertainment services on board. That option remains on the planes, augmented by the inflight WiFi service addition.
J-AIR’s E190s are the first in the E-Jet family to receive the 2Ku hardware. Intelsat’s Dave Bijur notes, “[T]his is a great showcase for other E190 operators around the world who want to offer a free service to all their passengers.”
J-AIR operates a fleet of 14 E190 aircraft. The carrier will take a relatively slow approach to the deployment, with the remaining 13 planes expected to be installed over the next 18ish months.
The kit includes ThinKom‘s Ku3030 antenna hardware. The 30″ platters are relatively wide on the E190 fuselage, but they fit. And they deliver the same high performance on the smaller jet that they do on mainline aircraft across the globe.
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