Viasat, Inc. (NASDAQ: VSAT), a a leader in global communications, revealed today that it has been chosen by Lufthansa Group to install the European Aviation Network (EAN) in-flight connectivity (IFC) solution on over 150 additional aircraft. This deployment will cover the fleets of Lufthansa, SWISS, and Austrian Airlines. The EAN utilizes S-band satellite coverage from Viasat, supplemented by a ground component network managed by Deutsche Telekom, a longstanding partner of both Viasat and Lufthansa Group. This comprehensive solution ensures optimal support for streaming and other high-bandwidth requirements during flight.
Lufthansa Group Selects Viasat for In-Flight Connectivity Upgrades
This announcement marks a continuation of the longstanding and successful partnership between the companies. Inmarsat, recently acquired by Viasat, has been providing its Ka-band In-Flight Connectivity (IFC) service to Lufthansa Group since 2015. Presently, this connectivity solution is operational on 240 narrow-body aircraft within the Lufthansa Group.
The recent decision underscores Lufthansa Group’s unwavering dedication to delivering an exceptional passenger experience, ensuring a consistent connectivity experience across all its fleets. This commitment ensures that passengers, regardless of the route or aircraft chosen, can enjoy reliable in-flight connectivity. The additional 150+ aircraft covered by this selection include Airbus A320s, A320neos, and A220s.
The European Aviation Network (EAN) serves as a testament to European technological and regulatory leadership, providing air travelers in Europe with an outstanding pan-European IFC experience. EAN leverages small, lightweight, low-drag terminals, offering Lufthansa Group opportunities for cost savings and bolstering its sustainability credentials. These considerations played a significant role in Lufthansa Group’s decision to choose EAN terminals for their A320 and A220 fleets, ensuring efficient and consistent in-flight connectivity.
Recently, Lufthansa Group airlines introduced an updated version of its onboard portal, FlyNet®, which will be accessible on EAN-equipped aircraft. The portal enables passengers to log in to in-flight connectivity using their Travel ID or Miles and More logins, providing access to information ranging from onboard food and beverage menus to duty-free offers and advertisements.
Don Buchman, GM and VP, Commercial Aviation at Viasat, said: “We’re so pleased to continue our long-standing partnership with Lufthansa Group, bringing the consistent, seamless in-flight connectivity solution that passengers want via the European Aviation Network. With so many passengers set to benefit, we’re excited to see the impact that EAN has on Lufthansa, SWISS, and Austrian Airlines’ fleets – especially in helping them remain at the forefront of offering a superior passenger experience, no matter which intra-European route or aircraft they fly.”
David Fox, Vice President, Inflight and Connectivity Services at Deutsche Telekom, said: “EAN is a game-changer in inflight connectivity. The service adapts perfectly to Europe’s unique telco infrastructure and provides an exceptional connectivity experience for passengers while they fly above the European continent. EAN also offers a highly compelling business case for carriers due to its lightweight, small and low maintenance equipment.”
This contributes significantly to the in-flight experience for passengers, given the results of Viasat’s 2023 Passenger Experience Survey. The survey indicated that 83% of respondents would choose to rebook with an airline providing high-quality in-flight Wi-Fi, and 81% emphasized the importance of Wi-Fi during their flights. These findings underscore the crucial role that quality in-flight connectivity plays in shaping passengers’ perceptions of an airline.