June 16, 2016 – American Airlines has selected ViaSat, a global broadband services and technology company, to outfit its new Boeing 737 MAX fleet with in-flight internet. The new American planes will access ViaSat’s high capacity Ka-band satellite system, which will include ViaSat-1, ViaSat-2 and ViaSat-3 satellite platforms, and is claimed to have more capacity in orbit than any other in-flight wi-fi provider.
American will leverage ViaSat’s first two generation satellite platforms, which according to Viasat, together provide “more capacity than all of the commercial satellites over North America combined”. When the first ViaSat-3 class satellite platform launches in 2019, it will more than double the capacity again.
“Our satellite bandwidth enables an ‘at home’ internet experience that can serve everyone on the plane – and empowers innovative business models for airlines and their passengers,” said Mark Dankberg, ViaSat chairman and CEO. “We believe we are now approaching the end of an era where passengers have paid very high prices for very slow connections. Our agreement highlights a significant initial step for American to deliver an onboard wi-fi experience every passenger will want to use.”
The first Boeing 737 MAX aircraft with the ViaSat in-flight internet system are scheduled to go into service in September 2017.