Fractional travel provider Flexjet and Viasat, the communications company, have entered into a partnership to install Viasat's in-flight connectivity (IFC) system on select Flexjet fleets. This partnership is two-fold: it will provide Viasat's high-speed Ka-band IFC service on Flexjet's Embraer Praetor 600 super midsize fleet, which serves transatlantic and domestic European routes; additionally, the partnership will provide Viasat's Ku-band IFC service to Flexjet's Bombardier Global and Gulfstream G450 and G650 aircraft with a path to transition these aircraft to Viasat's Ka-band system in the future.
The Flexjet/Viasat relationship is designed around creating an exceptional connectivity experience that will provide Flexjet with better service economics, enhanced flexibility gained through Viasat's vertical integration strategy and greater service accountability.
Flexjet will soon take delivery of another Embraer Praetor 600 with Viasat's Ka-band system, making it the first fractional private jet operator to deliver a high-speed connectivity solution in the super midsize category. With Viasat, Flexjet can provide office and home-like connectivity from takeoff to touchdown, at speeds typically greater than 20 Mbps, enabling passengers to perform the same connected activities in the air as they do on the ground, including video, music and TV streaming, video calls, browsing, email, VPN and more. Additionally, Viasat offers uncapped speeds on its Ka-band service, which leverages compact, lightweight hardware paired with Viasat's high-capacity satellite network to deliver the bandwidth required to meet increasing internet demands for faster speeds and access to more data-rich applications while in-flight.
For Flexjet's G450, G650 and Global aircraft, the Viasat Ku Advanced IFC system will offer faster speeds than Flexjet's prior system, enabling passengers and crew to enjoy an enhanced connectivity experience across the world's most heavily travelled flight routes. Installations of Viasat's Ku-band system are being handled by MRO partner Constant Aviation. For these larger aircraft, Viasat's equipment is designed in a way that offers Flexjet an easy upgrade path from Ku-band to Ka-band, providing an efficient option to evolve the connectivity experience for Flexjet customers.
“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, which will boost the value of our owners' flight experiences,” says Flexjet COO Megan Wolf. “We also appreciated its satellite roadmap, which would ensure the IFC investments we're making today will meet the increasing data demands of tomorrow.”
Viasat's business area director Claudio D'Amico adds: “By working in close partnership with Flexjet, we tailored our solution so it could gain advantages from both our Ku- and Ka-band solutions. We felt it was critical to work closely with Flexjet to create an IFC solution that was both economically sustainable and technically strong for its long-term commitment needs. We have confidence this deal will lead to a long-standing relationship that will continue to grow as we bring on more global capacity to serve more of Flexjet's aircraft, in both Europe and the US.”