Business jet in-flight connectivity scored a boost this week with multiple Collins Aerospace announcements. Whether over Ku or Ka band, the satellite internet options continue to expand, with a new offering and a boost to existing deals.
Viasat boosts aviation backlog, lingers over LEO likelihood
Viasat is making a lot of money, even though it cannot add new users to its core satellite offering today. But the company is not shying away from aircraft additions, with hundreds more anticipated over the next couple years.
Icelandair brings the MAX 9 online
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.
Azul goes live with free WiFi on board, powered by Viasat
More than a dozen Azul aircraft now offer free in-flight wifi service on board, with plans to surpass 100 fitted planes in the months ahead.
Flexjet picks Viasat to upgrade BizJet connectivity
Fractional jet ownership leader Flexjet will add Viasat’s in-flight connectivity products to portions of its fleet, bringing high-speed internet service to its owner/passengers.
First ViaSat-3 satellite completes payload integration
The first of the ViaSat-3 satellites reached a major milestone with completion of payload integration and performance testing. The satellite payload shipped to Boeing Satellite Systems in El Segundo, CA for bus integration. The fully assembled satellite will then undergo a complete series of environmental testing to simulate the rigors of launch and operation in the harsh environment of space. Launch is targeted for early calendar year 2022.
Intelsat plans bankruptcy exit, notes liquidation risks
Intelsat has a plan to emerge from its Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. It involves slashing debt owed by more than half, from $15 billion to $7 billion. But the debtors must agree to those losses. If not, the company faces a more dire outcome, including the likely liquidation of its recently acquired Gogo Commercial Aviation business.
Viasat teams with Gazprom, TMC for access to Russia
Access to Russia is critical when it comes to delivering satellite connectivity on a global basis. Viasat took a large step forward on that front this week, announcing a MOU with Gazprom for satellite capacity and TMC for the necessary local license to access the market.
Viasat optimistic on aviation market, capacity expansion
Viasat appears spectacularly optimistic these days, riding high on the Delta Air Lines deal and impending ViaSat-3 launch plans. So much so that it now anticipates a permanent positive free cash flow.
Viasat acquires RigNet, expands satellite service range
Viasat’s global satellite mobility services offering now includes a major off-shore component. The company agreed to acquire RigNet, a provider of networking services to the oil and gas industry, in an all-stock deal that should have some trickle-down impact to the IFEC segment.