JetBlue has firmed up its deal with Viasat to equip its Airbus A220s and A321LRs with its capable high-speed Ka-band inflight connectivity solution. JetBlue’s Fly-Fi free WiFi will be available to all transatlantic fliers on its A321LRs, along with five live TV channels focused on news and sport. For North American passengers, the A220s will have as many as 30 channels of live TV, alongside the free WiFi offering.
JetBlue’s A321LRs will be Viasat equipped
With plenty of anticipation surrounding JetBlue’s London launch, the airline is shoring up its agreements to ensure all its passengers can stay connected on the transatlantic trip. As expected, JetBlue’s Fly-Fi offering on its A321LR will be powered by long-term IFC partner Viasat.
Viasat has been providing JetBlue’s high-speed inflight connectivity service since 2013 and therefore is the natural choice for the long-range narrowbody aircraft. For now, Viasat is contracted to provide connectivity on 13 of JetBlue’s A321LRs, with options open to add more in the future.
According to ch-aviation, JetBlue has a total of 15 A321LR incoming, one of which has arrived to date. These will be used for the transatlantic routes, but could also make an appearance elsewhere as the fleet grows. These are set to be joined by 11 of the extra long-range A321XLR from 2023.
Equipped with Viasat’s Ka-band inflight solution, passengers on the A321LR in both Core and Mint will have free and unrestricted access to the internet. As well as this, Viasat will provide a selection of five live TV channels, with a focus on news and sport.
The A321LR has seatback screens at every seat, with 10.1” touchscreens in Core rising to the enormous 22” screen in its new Mint Studio suites. Passengers can access the internet using their own devices, and JetBlue has installed easy-to-reach USB-C, AC and USB-A in-seat power connections to keep every battery topped up.
The A220s get the Viasat touch too
It was almost two years ago when JetBlue announced its interest in equipping its entire A220 fleet with Viasat connectivity. At the time, Mariya Stoyanova, director of product development at JetBlue, commented that,
“Our new agreement with Viasat is a strong endorsement to their ongoing commitment to technology advancement, which we believe will help us continue to deliver great experiences to our customers—no matter where they fly with us.”
With a huge incoming fleet of 70 A220-300s, it’s a sizeable contract for Viasat. This week, the deal was confirmed, with Viasat providing inflight WiFi from gate to gate through its single high-capacity Ka-band antenna. As well as WiFi, Viasat will be providing as many as 30 channels of live TV, a first for the company.
Don Buchman, Viasat vice president and general manager, Commercial Aviation, said,
“Our long-standing relationship and history of service with JetBlue continues with the A220 and A321LR aircraft. By selecting Viasat for both IFC and live in-flight TV on both fleets, JetBlue continues to leverage Viasat’s expansive satellite network to bring an exceptional connected experience to customers—a partnership and program that we’re incredibly proud of.”
Are you flying JetBlue this year? Let us know in the comments.
This article is brought to you by Simple Flying Connectivity, a new category on Simple Flying dedicated to inflight connectivity. Click here to read all of our inflight connectivity content.