Finnair Launches Viasat’s Best-in-Market In-Flight Internet Service on European Flights; Airline Invites Customers to Test the Service
HELSINKI, July 19, 2018 – Finnair is launching a new high-speed internet service on its narrow-body Airbus fleet on European flights. From July 19 onwards, Finnair customers will be able to enjoy the industry’s fastest in-flight connection speeds—even gate-to-gate—enabling each customer to use the internet as they do on the ground, from web surfing and online shopping to listening to music and even watching movies and TV shows from popular video streaming services.
Finnair partnered with global communications company, Viasat Inc. (NASDAQ: VSAT), to deliver the high-speed in-flight internet service, which has already been installed on 6 of Finnair’s narrow body Airbus aircraft. By the end of this summer about 20 aircraft are expected to be installed with internet connectivity, with the entire narrow-body Airbus fleet expected to be internet connected by summer 2019.
“We are very happy that we can offer our customers something truly special, a state-of-the-art internet connection on our European flights,” says Piia Karhu, senior vice president, Customer Experience at Finnair. “Customers can also enjoy the services we provide online through our Nordic Sky portal, such as the latest digital newspapers and shopping possibilities. Having an internet connection onboard also enables us to introduce new tools for our crew to improve the customer experience on our flights.”
Finnair now invites its customers to test the service free of charge during the testing period, which runs for two months. During this testing period, Finnair gathers information on system functionality and feedback on the overall customer experience.
Viasat’s Don Buchman, vice president and general manager, Commercial Aviation added, “Finnair is a customer-focused airline bringing the latest technology to their fleet to ensure advanced passenger engagement. We’re proud to partner with them, and provide onboard internet experiences that deliver on unmatched speed and quality. In entering the passenger testing phase, we’ll be gaining the critical insights needed to further optimize our service to ensure Finnair customers get a unique experience built around their needs, interests and usage behaviors.”
Internet connection on European flights:
- Coverage:Once the installations are complete, the in-flight internet connection will be available on most of Finnair’s European flights. There are some limitations above sea areas like the Bay of Biscay and the North Sea where the satellite coverage and connectivity are unavailable. Some restrictions also apply over Latvia, Lithuania, parts of Belarus and Russia. Restrictions may also apply to gate-to-gate internet service availability due to specific country and aviation agency regulations. Finnair already provides internet connection on all its long-haul flights.
- Pricing: Internet connectivity will be complimentary on European flights during the testing period, which lasts for two months. Finnair will announce pricing after the testing period is complete.
- Nordic Sky portal: The Nordic Sky portal is available for all Finnair customers onboard aircraft equipped with an internet connection. Customers do not need to get an internet connection to access the Nordic Sky portal, but they can enjoy various digital services such as news, shopping, access to Finnair Customer Care and check their flight connections. Access to Nordic Sky portal is free of charge on all Finnair flights.
- Device support: All Wi-Fi enabled mobile phones, tablets and laptops will be able to access the new high-speed in-flight internet service.
Finnair flies between Asia, Europe and North America with an emphasis on fast connections via Helsinki, carrying more than ten million passengers annually. In 2017, Finnair's extensive network connects 19 cities in Asia and 7 cities in North America with over 100 destinations in Europe. The airline, a pioneer in sustainable flying, was the first European airline to fly the next-generation, eco-smart Airbus A350 XWB aircraft and it is the first airline listed in the Leadership Index of the worldwide Carbon Disclosure Project. The only Nordic carrier with a 4-star Skytrax ranking, Finnair has also won the World Airline Award for Best Airline Northern Europe for the past nine years running. Finnair is a member of oneworld, the alliance of the world's leading airlines committed to providing the highest level of service and convenience to frequent international travelers.
Viasat is a global communications company that believes everyone and everything in the world can be connected. For more than 30 years, Viasat has helped shape how consumers, businesses, governments and militaries around the world communicate. Today, the Company is developing the ultimate global communications network to power high-quality, secure, affordable, fast connections to impact people's lives anywhere they are—on the ground, in the air or at sea. To learn more about Viasat, visit: www.viasat.com, go to Viasat’s Corporate Blog, or follow the Company on social media at: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter or YouTube.
This press release contains forward-looking statements that are subject to the safe harbors created under the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Forward-looking statements include, among others, statements that refer to the timing of connecting additional Finnair aircraft to the Viasat service, the service packages and pricing offered by Finnair, the capabilities of the Viasat in-flight internet equipment and the satellites used to provide the service. Readers are cautioned that actual results could differ materially from those expressed in any forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ include: contractual problems; product defects; manufacturing issues or delays; regulatory issues; technologies not being developed according to anticipated schedules, or that do not perform according to expectations; increased competition; the ability to realize the anticipated benefits of the Viasat satellite systems in the US, or of its joint venture satellite in Europe; and other factors affecting the aviation sector generally. In addition, please refer to the risk factors contained in Viasat's SEC filings available at www.sec.gov, including Viasat's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date on which they are made. Viasat undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements for any reason.
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