Icelandair Becomes First Airline to Bring High-Speed Connectivity and Internet Streaming to Transatlantic Flights
Reykjavík, Iceland, 22 May 2017 – Icelandair and ViaSat Inc. (NASDAQ: VSAT). today announced it will bring the fastest, most powerful in-flight connectivity and internet streaming service to passengers flying on Icelandair Boeing 737MAX operated flights between North America and Europe.
Icelandair, with 44 destinations across Europe and North America was the first European airline to offer gate-to-gate wi-fi and now will deliver the ultimate internet experience at 35,000 feet. Icelandair will tap into ViaSat-2, the most powerful and highest capacity satellite communications system at launch, leveraging ViaSat’s latest generation (Gen-2) in-flight internet system.
“Icelandair continues to expand its global network with additional flights, aircraft and service capabilities across the Atlantic – our investment in new technology, from ViaSat, will deliver one of the best internet experiences in the skies,” said, Guðmundur Óskarsson, SVP Sales and Marketing, Icelandair. “In partnering with ViaSat we continue our strong reputation of putting our passengers first by giving them the opportunity to use the internet the way they want to by providing nternet with fast web browsing speeds and video streaming.”
Icelandair will integrate ViaSat’s in-flight internet system across its fleet of 16 Boeing 737MAX aircraft through post-delivery modifications. ViaSat plans to deliver continuous, reliable high-speed connectivity to Icelandair's 43 destinations across Europe and North America. By using ViaSat’s Gen-2 equipment, which is optimized to take full advantage of the highly-anticipated amounts of capacity offered by the ViaSat-2 satellite, Icelandair can offer passengers even faster and higher-quality in-flight internet connections, as well as keep pace with the growing broadband demands of the fully connected aircraft.
“This is a watershed moment for ViaSat – as this is the first time an airline will use our technology to offer full internet connectivity and internet streaming to passengers over the Atlantic Ocean,” said Don Buchman, vice president and general manager, Commercial Mobility at ViaSat. “This boldly speaks to Icelandair’s commitment to ensuring passenger comfort and loyalty while showing how far ViaSat has taken the in-flight internet industry in just a matter of years.”
How It Works
Highest-quality internet connections are made possible by connecting passenger devices directly to ViaSat’s ViaSat-2 Ka-band satellite network (over North America and the Atlantic Ocean), and then switching these passenger connections over to the European KA-SAT network, a high-capacity Ka-band satellite system part owned by ViaSat through its European joint venture with Eutelsat.
The installation of the ViaSat in-flight internet equipment is expected to begin in March 2018 and continue through 2020.
Icelandair offers service to and from Iceland through Icelandair’s hub at Keflavik International Airport serving 18 destinations in North America and more than 25 destinations in Scandinavia, the U.K. and Continental Europe. Only Icelandair allows passengers to take an Icelandair Stopover for up to seven nights at no additional airfare.
ViaSat, Inc. (NASDAQ: VSAT) keeps the world connected. As a global broadband services and technology company, ViaSat ensures consumers, businesses, governments and military personnel have communications access - anywhere - whether on the ground or in-flight. The Company's innovations in designing highest-capacity satellites and secure ground infrastructure and terminal technologies coupled with its international network of managed Wi-Fi hotspots enable ViaSat to deliver a best available network that extends the reach and accessibility of broadband internet service, globally.