Malaysia Airlines Selects Viasat to Power IFC, Wireless IFE on 737 MAX 8s


A Malaysia Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft. Photo: Jim Anderson

Malaysia Airlines has chosen Viasat to power the wireless in-flight entertainment (IFE) system, MHstudio, onboard its new Boeing 737 MAX 8 fleet. The aircraft will also be equipped with Viasat’s Ka-band in-flight connectivity (IFC) solution.

The relevant equipment is being installed on the jets at Boeing’s Renton factory, with the first of the type due to be delivered to Malaysia Airlines later in August. The carrier placed an order for 25 Boeing 737 MAX 8s in 2016 as part of its fleet modernization plan, stating they would replace its older Boeing 737-800s. Deliveries are scheduled to be completed by 2026.

“We are committed to continuously seeking ways to elevate our customer experience”

Ahmad Luqman Mohd Azmi, Malaysia Aviation Group

The new 737 MAX 8s are set to fly on routes across Malaysia and Southeast Asia, so will leverage Viasat’s Ka-band satellite network in the region. This will include the Viasat-3 APAC satellite once it is launched. 

ViaSat-3 Americas, the first of the three satellites in the forthcoming Viasat-3 constellation, launched from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida in May this year. The next will be Viasat-3 EMEA, which is set to launch in January 2024 and will cover Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The launch date for Viasat-3 APAC, the third and final satellite in the constellation, is unconfirmed. 

Meanwhile, MHstudio will provide passengers access to over 500 on-demand entertainment options, including mindfulness, stretching, meditation and sound healing content thanks to a recent partnership with Caravan Wellness. The partnership marks part of Malaysia Airlines’ recent IFE content expansion, which also saw a 100% increase in the number of Hollywood movies available. Furthermore, the carrier says MHstudio will create personalized shopping experiences for travelers.

“We are committed to continuously seeking ways to elevate our customer experience, providing personalized offerings and delivering exceptional onboard experiences with Malaysian hospitality,” said Ahmad Luqman Mohd Azmi, CEO of Airlines at Malaysia Aviation Group. “By empowering passengers with the flexibility to enjoy on-demand entertainment through the new IFE system throughout their journey, this initiative represents just one facet of our ongoing commitment to innovation and continuous improvement.”

Don Buchman, VP and GM, Commercial Aviation at Viasat, commented, “The initial deliveries of these new aircraft equipped with the Viasat system is an exciting milestone for our partnership with Malaysia Airlines, and, more broadly, for in-flight connectivity in the Asia Pacific region.”

Malaysia Airlines was presented with a 2023 Passenger Choice Award for “Best Seat Comfort” in Eastern Asia at FTE Asia