Lufthansa Group has selected Viasat to equip more than 150 additional aircraft with the European Aviation Network (EAN) in-flight connectivity (IFC) system. The systems, which include small, lightweight, low-drag terminals, will be installed across the group’s Lufthansa, SWISS, and Austrian Airlines fleets, including Airbus A320s, A320neos and A220s.
EAN combines S-band satellite coverage provided by Viasat with a complementary ground component network operated by Deutsche Telekom, a long-standing Viasat and Lufthansa Group partner, to create an ‘outstanding pan-European IFC experience’. Viasat says the service can support IFE content streaming and other high bandwidth requirements.
Lufthansa Group’s airlines recently unveiled a new release of the FlyNet onboard portal, which will be accessible on EAN-equipped aircraft. Passengers can log in to the in-flight connectivity system via the portal using their Travel ID or Miles and More logins. The portal also gives access to information such as menus for onboard food and beverage, duty free offers, advertisements and more.
SWISS customers on short-haul flights will have free internet access to use chat and messenger services such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, enabling them to send and receive unlimited text and picture messages free of charge throughout their flight. For a fee, SWISS guests will also be able to surf the web and use email or social media platforms, along with streaming and VPN services.
David Fox, VP of inflight and connectivity services at Deutsche Telekom, said: “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 light weight, small and low-maintenance equipment.”
This announcement continues a successful, enduring partnership between the companies. Inmarsat, which was recently acquired by Viasat, has provided its Ka-band IFC service to Lufthansa Group since 2015. This connectivity solution is already onboard 240 Lufthansa Group narrow-body aircraft.