Arinc Direct, which showcased its SkyLink satellite broadband service on two Gulfstreams at the Paris Air Show earlier this summer, expects to go active in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East in the fourth quarter of this year. Arinc Direct will offer the service as part of a joint venture with ViaSat of Carlsbad, Calif., using the Eutelsat satellite array. In the first quarter of next year the company will expand SkyLink to provide service over the North Atlantic, allowing its customers seamless broadband connection from the U.S. West Coast to the Middle East through a soft handoff between Ku-band satellites. SkyLink will also provide handoffs between Ku-band and Swift64 satellite service, according to Arinc Direct director of satellite service Bob Thompson.
Gulfstream is the launch customer for SkyLink and is offering the broadband system as optional equipment on the G300, G350, G450, G500 and G550.