This story is produced in partnership with PaxEx.Areo - The Business of Passenger Experience
When French all-premium carrier La Compagnie launched in February 2014 it promised inflight wifi connectivity for passengers on its flights between New York City and Paris. Some five years later the carrier is poised to deliver on that promise. The airline is expected to take delivery of two A321neo aircraft next year and will equip them with Viasat‘s high speed wifi service on board. The new, connected planes should begin flying in April 2019, replacing the carrier’s existing 757-200s.
The fleet upgrade was first tipped by CEO Laurent Magnin in late 2017 following a merger with XL Airways in late 2016. The combined carriers expect to streamline operations and improve efficiency in part by standardizing the fleet. The newer A321neo should be more fuel efficient than the 757-200s as well.
For Viasat this contract brings another customer into the fold, albeit a small one. The North Atlantic coverage of the ViaSat-2 satellite, combined with the Ka-SAT satellite jointly owned with Eutelsat gives Viasat sufficient capacity to deliver the solution to the carrier.
“We are excited to offer unlimited high-speed Wi-Fi to all the passengers onboard our new aircraft,” said Jean Charles Périno, executive vice president of Sales and Marketing for La Compagnie. “Business-class democratization is in our DNA. This is a perfect match with Viasat’s solution: we will be offering this unlimited Wi-Fi access at a fraction of the cost of competitive solutions, following our low-fare approach. We are proud, as a small airline, to have the best in the market to offer to our passengers.”
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