Above: In addition to the 2Ku service, 2018 will see Alaska Airlines debut an entirely redesigned cabin with new seats and amenities
August 23, 2017 – Alaska Airlines has selected Gogo as its inflight connectivity provider, with the satellite-based 2Ku service being installed across its entire Boeing and Airbus fleet. According to the parties, the system was attractive because it delivers 20-times more bandwidth than Gogo’s air-to-ground (ATG) product, and offers wi-fi capability throughout virtually all of Alaska’s mainline jet routes – with the strong connection speed needed to enable passengers to stream IFE content to personal electronic devices while in the air.
The 2Ku service will be installed on Alaska’s Boeing 737 aircraft from the first half of 2018, with 40 to 50 aircraft expected to be completed by the end of the year. The remainder of the mainline fleet (comprising Alaska and Virgin America aircraft, following Alaska’s acquisition of the airline in 2016) will be fully satellite wi-fi equipped by early 2020. Regional jets operated by sister airlines Horizon Air and SkyWest, which serve shorter flights, will continue to offer Gogo’s ATG4 internet service (including free movies, messaging and TV).
“We conducted an extensive review to find a satellite wi-fi solution that will allow us to give our guests full coverage across our route map, including in the state of Alaska and on flights to Hawaii,” said Andrew Harrison, chief commercial officer at Alaska Airlines. “Our guests will soon be able to connect in the air just as they do out and about on the ground.”
Guests on Alaska’s 2Ku-equipped aircraft will be able to enjoy the service from gate-to-gate, with pricing for the service due to be announced in the near future (Alaska has indicated that guests can expect prices lower than they are for today’s ATG service, with options available such as hourly and daily rates).
Michael Small, Gogo’s president and CEO stated, “We have market-leading satellite capacity, with the ability to add more. We continue to innovate and improve the technology to make sure 2Ku will keep Alaska ahead of the technology curve for the foreseeable future.”