Late last Friday JetBlue‘s LiveTV subsidiary received word from the FAA that the Supplemental Type Certification (STC) for their new in-flight internet service was approved. This STC covers the carrier’s A320 fleet. The activation of this service has been a long time coming, but it now appears that JetBlue will be able to implement the Fly-Fi service on several planes by the end of the year; JetBlue has also indicated a very aggressive goal of equipping the 129 A320s currently in their fleet within 18 months. The 60 Embraer E90 planes will be equipped after the Airbus fleet.
JetBlue has been working for quite some time to get this service rolled out so this step – the last major bureaucratic hurdle to clear – is essentially a green light to go live. The company still has some additional testing in the works over the coming weeks before flipping the switch and allowing customer use, but that day is rapidly approaching. Given that JetBlue is the last full-service US carrier to roll out in-flight connectivity the offering cannot come soon enough, both for the company and their customers.
This same kit is also currently installed on a United 737-900 which is awaiting its STC approval from the FAA. Once that happens the the nearly 250 planes in that carrier’s domestic 737 fleet will start to be fitted. LiveTV also has a contract to outfit the A320 fleet of Aer Lingus for short-haul operations in Europe, pending approval from regulators there. The number of planes looking to get this system quickly is quite high. JetBlue expects to announce a partner to help with the install process on Wednesday, a move which should help speed things along to meet the tight timeline for their fleet.
Never miss another post: Sign up for email alerts and get only the content you want direct to your inbox.
So far as the LiveTV solution is concerned, what exactly are the range limitations. My understanding is that some “satilite based wifi” offerings span the globe (ish) where as others are akin to a DirecTV/SiriusXM geographic limitation. I thought the LiveTV solution was the latter kind, but the Aer Lingus deal has me perplexed.
The limitations for the LiveTV solution are based on where there is Ka-band coverage. ViaSat currently provides coverage across the CONUS with ViaSat-1 and WildBlue; map showing the coverage is here: http://www.satcomresources.com/tools/ViaSat-1-Wildblue. A different satellite will provide coverage for the European operations.
Comments are closed.