Viasat, Inc., a global communications company, has been selected as the inflight connectivity provider for Korean Air. Under the agreement, the Korean flag carrier has selected Viasat’s award-winning inflight broadband solution for its upcoming fleet of Airbus A321neo aircraft.
Korean Air will receive a total of 30 Airbus A321neos by 2027 as part of a fleet modernization plan, all of which will be delivered linefit with the global satellite company’s connectivity solution. These will be operated on short and mid-haul flights between the airline’s main hub in Seoul and destinations across the Asia region.
As the aviation industry continues to grow post-COVID, Korean Air has selected Viasat’s service in direct response to evolving market needs. A recent Passenger Experience Survey found that 89 percent of Korean respondents would be more likely to rebook with an airline if quality inflight Wi-Fi was available – compared to 82 percent globally.
The reliable, consistent, and high-speed inflight connectivity will enable Korean Air to meet passenger expectations for staying connected, browsing the internet, enjoying social media, streaming video and audio, shopping online, catching-up with work and more, all from the comfort of their seats.
“Today marks an important milestone for Korean Air, as we embark on our first inflight connectivity partnership. Our selection process started in 2018 and we’ve been focused on selecting the right solution that meets our business needs and can help us realize the untapped potential of our onboard experience,” said Kenneth Chang, Korean Air’s Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. “It was clear that Viasat’s technology was unparalleled and they understood our vision. The new connectivity system will be a fundamental part of our digital strategy and customer experience going forward. Coupled with the advanced features of our fuel-efficient, next-generation A321neo aircraft, we look forward to taking our passenger experience to the next level.”
“We are proud to add Korean Air, a leading airline, as a valued inflight connectivity customer in this major market,” said Jimmy Dodd, SVP & President, Global Enterprise & Mobility at Viasat. “Key to our ability to service Korean Air’s new A321neo fleet is our robust satellite network, designed to deliver fast and reliable Wi-Fi for an exceptional passenger experience.”
The selection was secured in partnership with hardware provider Safran Passenger Innovations (SPI) to develop the solution required by Korean Air. This included combining inflight connectivity (IFC) airtime and Safran’s Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity (IFEC) hardware. This partnership will enable Korean Air to extend its digital passenger journey, providing opportunities for direct engagement with passengers as well as enhancing their inflight experience.