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Lufthansa Group expands in-flight connectivity with Viasat

Inmarsat, now a Viasat company, has provided Ka-band IFC service to Lufthansa Group since 2015.
Phot Credit: Lufthansa Group

Lufthansa Group has chosen Viasat to equip more than 150 additional aircraft, spanning Lufthansa, SWISS, and Austrian Airlines fleets, with the cutting-edge European Aviation Network (EAN) in-flight connectivity (IFC) solution. The EAN, a collaborative effort between Viasat and long-time partner Deutsche Telekom, combines S-band satellite coverage with a ground component network, ensuring optimal connectivity that supports high bandwidth requirements, including streaming services.

This announcement marks a continuation of the successful partnership between Lufthansa Group and Viasat, which dates back to 2015 when Inmarsat, recently acquired by Viasat, began providing its Ka-band IFC service to Lufthansa Group. Currently, this connectivity solution is operational on 240 narrow-body aircraft within the Lufthansa Group.

The latest selection underscores Lufthansa Group’s unwavering commitment to enhancing the passenger experience, aiming to provide a seamless connectivity experience across its diverse fleet. The inclusion of more than 150 additional aircraft, including Airbus A320s, A320neos, and A220s, demonstrates a dedication to offering reliable in-flight connectivity regardless of the route or aircraft.

EAN stands as a testament to European technological and regulatory leadership, delivering an exceptional pan-European IFC experience for air travellers. The system utilises small, lightweight, and low-drag terminals, allowing Lufthansa Group to capitalise on cost-saving opportunities and bolster its sustainability efforts. These factors played a crucial role in the airline’s decision to choose EAN terminals for their A320 and A220 fleets, ensuring efficient and consistent in-flight connectivity.

Commenting on the deal, Don Buchman, GM and VP of Commercial Aviation at Viasat, said: “We’re so pleased to continue our long-standing partnership with Lufthansa Group, bringing the consistent, seamless in-flight connectivity solution that passengers want via the European Aviation Network. With so many passengers set to benefit, we’re excited to see the impact that EAN has on Lufthansa, SWISS, and Austrian Airlines’ fleets – especially in helping them remain at the forefront of offering a superior passenger experience, no matter which intra-European route or aircraft they fly.”

David Fox, Vice President of Inflight and Connectivity Services at Deutsche Telekom, added: “EAN is a game-changer in inflight connectivity. The service adapts perfectly to Europe’s unique telco infrastructure and provides an exceptional connectivity experience for passengers while they fly above the European continent. EAN also offers a highly compelling business case for carriers due to its lightweight, small and low maintenance equipment.”

This further enhances the onboard experience for passengers, as Viasat’s 2023 Passenger Experience Survey found that 83% of passengers surveyed would rebook with an airline that offered quality in-flight Wi-Fi, while 81% say Wi-Fi is important to them. This showcases the importance of quality in-flight connectivity to passengers’ perceptions of an airline.