Icelandair and Viasat recently took one giant step closer to their goal of providing the most advanced in-flight Wi-Fi service to the airline’s customers. In June, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) granted Viasat a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC), allowing its industry-leading in-flight connectivity (IFC) system to operate on Icelandair’s Boeing 737 MAX-9 aircraft.
The approval clears the way for Icelandair’s MAX-9s to activate Viasat’s IFC solution. The IFC system was installed earlier this year, but it had been deactivated pending the certificate from EASA. The MAX-9 aircraft will now join Icelandair’s MAX-8 fleet, providing connectivity to passengers flying between the U.S. and Europe via scenic Iceland. This service launched on MAX-8 aircraft in March 2021 and has already been enjoyed by thousands of Icelandair passengers.
Icelandair expects all Viasat-enabled aircraft to be installed by April 2022.
Full-service internet in the air
Icelandair, keen on delivering an exceptional in-flight Wi-Fi experience to customers flying on Viasat-equipped aircraft, can now encourage passengers to spend time onboard the way they want: connecting to the internet for leisure, entertainment or work.
“We are honored to work alongside the highly motivated Icelandair team in accomplishing this major milestone,” said Don Buchman, VP/GM, Commercial Aviation at Viasat. “As passengers increasingly return to air travel, the importance of great inflight Wi-Fi is paramount, and Icelandair is providing customers a great connectivity experience so they can do what they want online while in the air.”
The Viasat-equipped Icelandair aircraft will connect to Viasat’s high-capacity satellite network. Over Europe, this network includes the KA-SAT satellite and could include others like Avanti’s Hylas constellation in the future. When traveling over the U.S., Iceland and the Atlantic Ocean, the aircraft will connect with several other Viasat satellites, including ViaSat-2.
In the future, these aircraft will be able to link to the company’s next-generation satellite constellation, ViaSat-3. The ViaSat-3 constellation includes three ultra-high-capacity satellites that will offer global coverage – with each expected to deliver over 1 Terabit per second of total network throughput.
As a result of this partnership, Icelandair passengers on Viasat-equipped aircraft can enjoy a home-quality internet experience from gate-to-gate, including streaming videos, movies, music and TV shows, browsing the internet, messaging, email and more.
Featured image credited to Icelandair