Korean Air activated inflight Wi-Fi on its A321neo fleet this month. The carrier selected Viasat as the provider, diversifying its supplier base.
For the second time this summer Viasat has seen a failure of efforts to grow its global satellite constellation. The I6-F2 satellite, launched in February by Inmarsat, “suffered a power subsystem anomaly during its orbit raising phase” and will not enter service as planned.
Malaysia Airlines’ upcoming fleet of 737 MAX 8 aircraft will offer inflight internet and wireless entertainment on board, powered by Viasat.
Despite the troubles with its first flagship ViaSat-3 satellite, Viasat continues to maintain a positive outlook. Yes, the lack of capacity from the new satellite over the Americas is a problem. But for the next couple years that should only impact its terrestrial connectivity business, not the higher-margin mobility or government business lines.
The deal is done: Viasat now owns Inmarsat, completing the multi-billion dollar transaction.
The European Commission unconditionally approved Viasat’s planned purchase of Inmarsat on Thursday, removing the last regulatory hurdle the two companies faced in their planned consolidation. With that eliminated, they now expect to close the deal before the end of May.
The newest Emirates aircraft will fly with Inmarsat’s GX Aviation inflight internet solution on board. The incoming fleet of Airbus A350s will offer the high speed WiFi solution across all 50 aircraft, with deliveries expected to begin in 2024.
Condor’s newest planes will fly online. The carrier added in-flight connectivity to its A330neo fleet, providing internet service in the sky to passengers via the new Condor FlyConnect system.
Qatar Airways is not shy about shifting providers to make sure the services offered meet its standards. That the carrier shifted suppliers on for inflight WiFi on the 787-9 fleet to Inmarsat’s GX Aviation hardware on board is perhaps even more notable.
The technology is proven, with hundreds of aircraft connected across Europe. But building out a new in-flight connectivity platform and deploying it to an airline remains an expensive proposition. Global air-to-ground technology provider SkyFive plans to address that major challenge with a new round of funding.