Image: United Airlines

APEX Insight: Viasat today announced a deal with United Airlines to bring its latest generation Ka-band in-flight entertainment and connectivity system on board more than 70 aircraft.

United Airlines has signed a new contract with Viasat to install the Carlsbad-based company’s latest generation in-flight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) system on more than 70 aircraft, including at least 58 of its upcoming Boeing 737 MAXs.

The Chicago-based carrier, which is an existing Viasat customer, will use Viasat’s Ka-band satellite system including the ViaSat-1, ViaSat-2 and ViaSat-3 satellite platforms. United’s existing Boeing 737 fleet currently uses air-to-ground in-flight connectivity. In addition to web browsing, passengers will be able to access business applications, such as a corporate VPN and secure email, while in in the air.

United will also use Viasat’s system to power its Private Screening wireless IFE platform, which allows passengers to stream movies and TV shows from their own devices.

Our goal is to ensure United’s customers are fully connected and enjoying their onboard connectivity and entertainment experiences.” – Don Buchman, Viasat

“We’re pleased to expand our relationship with United, now providing direct internet and entertainment services to them and their customers,” said Don Buchman, vice-president and general manager, Commercial Aviation, Viasat. “We’re focused on optimizing customer satisfaction through great connectivity and entertainment. Our goal is to ensure United’s customers are fully connected and enjoying their onboard connectivity and entertainment experiences.”

Viasat said United will begin installing the IFEC system across the 70 or more aircraft “over the coming months.” United is already a Viasat customer and uses its connectivity services on more than 300 aircraft. The airline also uses other connectivity providers including Panasonic Avionics and Gogo across its short- and long-haul fleets.

Ari is the news editor at APEX Media.