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Fri, 2 September 2016

ViaSat to Install WiFi on Finnair's Entire A320 Short-Haul Fleet Flying in Europe

Finnair has signed an agreement with ViaSat, a global broadband services and technology company, to install a high-speed wireless internet network on its entire Airbus A320 series short-haul fleet flying in Europe.

The installation of the Wi-Fi equipment will begin in May 2017 and is expected to be completed by June 2018.

With a connection speed of 12 Mbps or higher per passenger, the new system will offer one of the fastest in-flight internet connections currently available on the market.

ViaSat will ensure end-to-end in-flight connectivity service across the Finnair fleet, and has partnered with Eutelsat to deliver the high-speed satellite-based internet service, which will cover the entire European continent. 

Our customers increasingly value the possibility of being connected during their flights and this change will also create great opportunities for Finnair to further develop its in-flight portal that will serve customers with news, entertainment and great shopping opportunities on their portable devices, said Piia Karhu, SVP, Customer Experience Development at Finnair. We are very pleased to partner with ViaSat on this project as we will be able to offer our customers the best possible Wi-Fi offering available on the market today, and that has the ability to scale, once the installations are completed.

Last July, Finnair announced that its entire long-haul fleet of Airbus A330 aircraft would be retrofitted with Wi-Fi connectivity by May 2017. Finnair is currently operating six A350-XWB aircraft which already offer wireless connectivity for its passengers. The airline is expected to receive an additional five A350 aircraft by the end of next year.

 With both the long-haul and short-haul fleet set to offer internet connectivity by June 2018, over a thousand route pairs in Finnairs network will offer Wi-Fi connectivity for transiting passengers.

 Additionally, Finnairs Wi-Fi coverage over Chinese airspace has recently been opened, having been closed previously due to limitations by the authorities.

Finnairs wireless internet access is free for Business class passengers, Finnair Plus Gold and Platinum customers, and oneworld Sapphire and Emerald level customers. Economy class passengers can purchase internet access at an hourly rate or for the duration of the flight.

See other recent news regarding: ViaSat, A320, Satellite, Finnair, IFE

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