Flexjet, Viasat Enter Ka-band Connectivity Partnership

 - June 17, 2021, 10:38 AM
Under the partnership, Flextjet's Gulfstream G650s will be equipped with Viasat’s Ku-band IFC service, enabling a path to transition to its Ka-band system in the future. (Photo: Flexjet)

Viasat and Flexjet have entered a partnership in which the satcom provider’s Ka-band in-flight connectivity (IFC) will be line fit on the fractional company’s super-midsize Embraer Praetor 600 fleet that operates transatlantic and domestic European routes. Flexjet’s Bombardier Global and Gulfstream G450 and G650 fleets also will be equipped with Viasat’s Ku-band IFC service, enabling a path to transition to its Ka-band system in the future as that network is further built out.

Because of the partnership, Viasat said Flexjet will be the first fractional operator to offer Ka-band IFC in the super-midsize jet category when it soon takes delivery of a Ka-band equipped Praetor 600. Viasat offers uncapped speeds—typically more than 20 Mbps—on its Ka-band service, which uses compact, lightweight hardware.

For the larger Globals and Gulfstreams in Flexjet’s fleet, sister company and MRO provider Constant Aviation—both companies are owned by Directional Aviation—will install Viasat’s Ku-band IFC system, replacing a different system. Viasat’s equipment is designed to easily convert from Ku-band to Ka-band, according to Viasat.

“When we began evaluating IFC partners to improve our existing connectivity, it became clear that Viasat’s products and services would enhance it on more devices across more of our fleet,” said Flexjet chief operating officer Megan Wolf. She added the transition to Viasat Ka-band will “ensure the IFC investments we’re making today will meet the increasing data demands of tomorrow.”