In June the airline split its business between Gogo and ViaSat. We covered that story here. Back then, ViaSat was given the opportunity to work on 100 new 737 MAXs while Gogo was to install its 2Ku service on more than 130 A319s and A320s. Panasonic provides satellite Wi-Fi for the airline’s international widebody fleet.
ViaSat, in its latest earnings news made mention of “New contracts with commercial airline customers announced: Major North American airline, as well as European airlines Finnair and SAS”. The company then also mentioned: “Subsequent to the end of the second quarter of fiscal year 2017, ViaSat was selected by a North American airline to retrofit more than 500 aircraft from its existing, mainline domestic fleet with ViaSat’s highly advanced in-flight internet system. Installation under this contract is expected to begin in summer 2017.” A pretty clear signal that they were doing a deal with American.
Gogo reported in June that about 550 American aircraft with its equipment “are subject to de-installation at any time at American’s option.” Gogo also reported it expected that American would exercise that right for many, or perhaps all, of those aircraft “from time to time over the next several years.”
ViaSat reports it already has over 500 aircraft using its WiFi solution. A win at American is therefore significant. The competition between the two connectivity vendors is likely to end up working in favor of the air traveling public.