Icelandair, in operation since 1937, has a long history of bridging North America and mainland Europe through Iceland. Today, the Airline announced it will bring the fastest, most powerful in-flight connectivity and internet streaming service to passengers – across this transatlantic bridge – through a new partnership with global broadband services and technology company, ViaSat Inc.
To deliver ultimate internet experiences at 35,000 feet, Icelandair will tap into ViaSat-2, expected to be the most powerful, highest capacity satellite communications system at launch, and will leverage ViaSat’s latest generation (Gen-2) in-flight internet system. By using the latest advancements in ViaSat’s in-flight internet portfolio, Icelandair will be able to offer full internet and streaming services at scale.
“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, senior vice president, 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 internet 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 from Icelandair’s 18 North American gateways across the Atlantic Ocean to Iceland and more than 25 destinations in Europe. By using ViaSat’s Gen-2 equipment, which is optimized to take full advantage of the highly-anticipated massive 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.