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Alaska Airlines to Upgrade Regional Jets With Intelsat Wi-Fi 

By | January 24, 2023

Photo: Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines is upgrading its Embraer E175 regional jets with Intelsat’s in-flight connectivity (IFC). The deal announced Tuesday will expand Alaska’s IFC services with Intelsat to include regional jets. 

Alaska Airlines said it will be installing a new Intelsat IFC system that works well for its regional fleet. The service has a more lightweight electronically steered array (ESA) and will communicate with both traditional geostationary (GEO) satellites and new low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites.

The new system will debut on Horizon Air, our sister airline, in early 2024 and roll out across our regional jet fleet, including on our partner SkyWest, over a two-year period. Alaska Airlines said it is a $25 million investment for a “major step forward in the travel experience for our guests.”

This follows after Alaska Airlines signed an IFC deal with Intelsat last year for service on 105 of its new fleet of Boeing 737MAX aircraft. Alaska Airlines was a longtime customer of Gogo, and Intelsat acquired Gogo’s commercial aviation business in 2020.  Alaska Airlines said nearly all mainline fleet will have satellite IFC by April of this year, and the entire fleet by 2026. 

“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,” said Sangita Woerner, senior vice president of marketing and guest experience for Alaska Airlines. “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.”

Intelsat has previously announced a new IFC service with a new ESA terminal, and a global distribution agreement with OneWeb to distribute OneWeb capacity for combined LEO/GEO in-flight connectivity service.