JetBlue, Aviation Technical Services Sign Agreement To Install Wi-Fi Connectivity On 130 Airbus Aircraft
NEW YORK, Sept. 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- JetBlue Airways (Nasdaq: JBLU), New York's Hometown AirlineTM, has signed a contract with Aviation Technical Services (ATS) for the Washington state-based company to install super-fast next-generation Ka-band satellite Wi-Fi technology on JetBlue's fleet of Airbus A320 aircraft.
The agreement covers up to 130 A320 aircraft at ATS's maintenance facility in Everett, Wash. Additional Ka-band installations will be accomplished at JetBlue's LiveTV subsidiary in Orlando. The technology was designed by LiveTV, which will be conducting training and technical support to ATS to ensure a quality installation. All Airbus A320 installations are expected to be completed by the end of 2014.
"We are pleased to enter into this partnership with ATS, a proven MRO leader who shares our passion and excitement for this project," said Jeff Martin, senior vice president of operations for JetBlue. "Jointly, we will aggressively modify the majority of our A320 fleet with the Fly-Fi solution while we continue to work with LiveTV to add Ka broadband onboard connectivity to the remainder of our aircraft."
Fly-Fi, JetBlue's brand for wireless inflight internet, will use satellite-based connectivity, while most other carriers use ground-based systems, known as Ku-band. Subsequently, JetBlue's Fly-Fi system is expected to be significantly faster than others.
Ka-band is the next generation of high-bandwidth satellite technology, with eight times more bandwidth than Ku-band. Ka-band satellites are better suited to support high-throughput capacity that cannot be met by more congested Ku-band frequencies. Ka-band also allows smaller end-user antennas.
"This is an important step toward putting Wi-Fi in all of our aircraft," said JetBlue senior vice president of marketing and commercial strategy Marty St. George. "The ATS relationship will allow JetBlue to speed Fly-Fi introduction throughout our fleet."
"All of us at LiveTV are excited to see this LiveTV designed system reach the installation stage," said Chris Collins, chief operating officer of LiveTV. "Thirteen years ago we revolutionized the inflight entertainment experience with the launch of DirecTV on JetBlue, and now our Ka-connectivity experience will revolutionize the aviation connectivity experience onboard aircraft."
"We are proud to have this opportunity to support such a customer-focused airline such as JetBlue and we look forward to growing our relationship over the coming years," said Matt Yerbic, ATS President and CEO. "This agreement further extends our services to Airbus operators in North America and around the world."
About Aviation Technical Services
Since opening in 1970, ATS has been providing maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services for commercial and military transport jet aircraft. From a base of operations in Washington State (Everett and Moses Lake), FAA Class IV Airframe and Class 1, 2 and 3 accessory ratings enable ATS to perform MRO services for virtually any transport aircraft in the world. Today, ATS is home to more than 1,000 employees who work together to support a global customer base across five major business platforms: Airframe Services; Components Services; Engineering/ Manufacturing Support; Aircraft on Ground (AOG) Services; Boeing Business Jet (BBJ) Completions/ Maintenance Support. For more information visit atsmro.com.
About JetBlue Airways
JetBlue is New York's Hometown AirlineTM with focus cities in Boston, Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles (Long Beach), San Juan and Orlando. Known for its award-winning service and free inflight entertainment as much as its low fares JetBlue offers the most legroom in coach of any U.S. airline (based on average fleet-wide seat pitch) as well as super-spacious Even More Space seats. JetBlue is also America's first and only airline to offer its own Customer Bill of Rights, with meaningful and specific compensation for customers inconvenienced by service disruptions within JetBlue's control. Visit www.jetblue.com/promise for details. TrueBlue, JetBlue's exclusive loyalty program for frequent fliers, allows customers to earn points even faster with partner programs with no black-out dates. JetBlue serves 79 cities with 850 daily flights and will launch service in 2013 to Worcester, Massachusetts, Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, as well as Lima, Peru, subject to receipt of government operating authority. With JetBlue, all seats are assigned, all fares are one-way, and an overnight stay is never required. For information call 1-800-538-2583 (TTY/TDD 1-800-336-5530), or visit www.jetblue.com.
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