- Joe Breitfeller
Alaska Airlines Partners With Intelsat for High Speed Satellite Wi-Fi on Regional Embraer E175 Fleet
Updated: Jan 25
Alaska Airlines has partnered with Intelsat, becoming the first major airline to announce plans to offer high-speed satellite Wi-Fi on a regional jet aircraft. The new system will debut with Alaska’s subsidiary Horizon Air in early 2024.
On Tuesday (January 24, 2023), Alaska Airlines announced that in partnership with Intelsat, they will outfit their regional jet fleet with streaming-fast satellite Wi-Fi. The system will debut on Alaska’s regional subsidiary Horizon Air in early 2024, before being rolled out across the regional fleet, including their partner SkyWest. Intelsat’s system will utilize an electronically steered array (ESA), which is a small lightweight antenna with no moving parts. A first for the industry, the system will also communicate with both traditional geostationary (GEO) and low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites. Representing a $25 million investment, the upgrade is part of Alaska’s ongoing commitment to enhance the guest experience, and will enable higher speeds and more coverage in the air, especially across areas in the state of Alaska.
In Tuesday’s announcement, Alaska Airlines’ SVP – Marketing and Guest Experience, Sangita Woerner, said,
“Bringing a streaming-fast satellite Wi-Fi solution to our regional jets is another key investment in modernizing our fleet, emphasizing innovation and taking care of our guests changing needs. With the growth in remote work, we know staying connected at 34,000 feet is more important than ever. Intelsat’s new system will give our guests the peace of mind that no matter whether it’s a short flight or longer journey, there will be reliable, affordable and convenient Wi-Fi. It’s just another way we show care in the air.”
Nearly all of Alaska’s mainline fleet will feature satellite Wi-Fi, also installed by Intelsat, by April 2023, and the company’s entire fleet will offer consistent streaming-fast Wi-Fi by 2026. With satellite Wi-Fi, guests can stream, browse and chat onboard, enjoying content on their own personal devices such as Netflix, Hulu or YouTube. As an added feature, customers can connect from the moment they board, rather than waiting for the boarding door to close. Customers do not have to connect to the internet, as Alaska continues to invest in a massive library of entertainment, currently over 800 movies and TV shows, for streaming on personal electronic devices.
Source: Alaska Airlines