Viasat has unveiled enhanced business aviation inflight broadband service options that combine its Viasat Ka-band solution with the Jet ConneX solution from its recently -acquired Inmarsat business.
An expanded range of service options will be available to business aviation customers using Viasat’s existing GAT-5510 terminal, as well as three upcoming next-generation Jet ConneX terminals – Satcom Direct’s Plane Simple Ka-band, Orbit’s AirTRx30, and Honeywell’s JetWave X. These will be available in early 2024 for aircraft equipped with the GAT-5510 and upon entry-into-service for aircraft with any next-generation Jet ConneX terminal.
The expanded service options have been developed using feedback from customers and partners to deliver greater flexibility.
Customers will benefit from the strength of Viasat’s network as well as the technology and lightweight designs of the next-generation terminals.
With fewer line-replaceable units (LRUs), the next-generation terminals are well suited for various types of business jets, including large cabin and smaller aircraft. In addition, these systems are all designed for installation outside of the pressure vessel, saving baggage space.
Viasat has also announced an incentive for business aviation customers that use its SwiftBroadband (SBB) and SwiftJet L-band in-flight connectivity, acquired as part of its recent Inmarsat acquisition, and upgrade to any Viasat Ka-band solution, so they can benefit from near-term savings and other benefits that SBB offers.
Kai Tang, Head of Business Aviation, Viasat, said: “We’re excited about the positive impact that Viasat’s acquisition of Inmarsat will deliver to our business aviation customers. The harmonization of our Ka-band services is a prime example of what can be achieved by bringing the best of both companies together. It reflects the enhanced service options and innovations that we’re bringing to the market, based on direct feedback from customers and partners, to ensure that Viasat continues to exceed passenger expectations around fast, reliable and consistent in-flight connectivity for many years to come.”
In addition to feedback sessions with customers and partners, Viasat recently conducted a survey of business aviation professionals in partnership with Corporate Jet Investor (CJI), which found that consistent performance was deemed the most important factor when selecting a connectivity solution (31% ranked it as the number one factor, while 62% put it first or second), with 100% route coverage the second most important factor, and high speeds third. In addition, 70% of respondents said improved passenger experience was the main benefit of equipping their aircraft with a connectivity solution – though the benefits of enhancing re-sale value (12%) and future-proofing investments (9%) were also noted.