American Airlines ordered 100 Airbus A321neo aircraft years ago, but the delivery had been delayed due to high fuel prices eating into American’s 2018 earnings. Now, the airline has chosen the company which will be equipping those planes with high-speed Internet capabilities.
- Viasat will be that provider, which is a good choice for the airline as it has plenty of experience outfitting planes with onboard Wi-Fi capabilities.
- In fact, Viasat already offers satellite Internet on some American planes.
- Viasat will also offer in-flight entertainment on the A321neos.
- Around 200 of American’s domestic narrow-body planes have Gogo 2Ku or Viasat systems, split evenly between each provider.
- Viasat services 757 planes, with plans to offer service in another 854 planes, not counting the 100 A321neos.
- It will start taking delivery of the planes early in 2019.
Airlines have been offering Wi-Fi, but it never has been that great. Wi-Fi signals were sent from the plane to the ground and then back up to the plane. This caused slow page loading times, and the Internet was often unreliable. However, with new high-speed Wi-Fi services, the signals go from planes to satellites and then back to planes. This makes the process more reliable, smoother and faster altogether.
American currently offers fewer flights with air-to-satellite technology compared with the number of flights that use air-to-ground service. Luckily for travelers on American, the disparity is quickly shrinking.