JetBlue scores FAA approval for Fly-Fi, may launch satellite WiFi next month

JetBlue's next-generation WiFi service, powered by ViaSat's super-speedy Ka-band satellite, is officially on track to launch this October. The FAA just issued a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) for the airline's Airbus A320, enabling a fleet-wide installation that's set to begin immediately. In a statement, Chief Commercial Officer Robin Hayes said that several aircraft will be wired by the end of this year, with many A320s scheduled to come online throughout 2014. The rollout will then continue with JetBlue's smaller Embraer 190, currently used on select regional routes.

(Photo credit: AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

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Airbus 320 Aircraft Now Certified For LiveTV's Superfast Wi-Fi

-- JetBlue to be the first airline customer for game-changing inflight connectivity --

MELBOURNE, Fla., Sept. 3, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- LiveTV, a wholly owned subsidiary of JetBlue Airways (Nasdaq: JBLU), has received a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) for Airbus 320 aircraft from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for the first-of-its-kind Ka-band system, a satellite-based inflight connectivity and streaming entertainment solution, paving the road for next generation commercial inflight broadband. LiveTV provides system design, certification, installation and turnkey support services including line maintenance to airline customers and expects to roll out this product on three additional aircraft types by the end of the year.

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"This is a major milestone for LiveTV," said Glenn Latta, president of LiveTV. "Thirteen years ago we revolutionized the inflight entertainment experience with the launch of live television, which is now seen on more than 80,000 LiveTV-powered screens throughout the world. Now, with our inflight connectivity at speeds you expect on the ground, the onboard experience in North America and Europe takes another major leap forward. I would like to thank our partners ViaSat, General Dynamics, and Sapient for working with us to make At Home in the Air(TM) connectivity a reality."

"This is game-changing technology, and JetBlue is honored to be the first airline to offer this great new service to our customers," said Robin Hayes, chief commercial officer for JetBlue. "We expect to have a number of JetBlue aircraft installed with Wi-Fi by the end of this year, and will aggressively roll it out across our Airbus fleet over the next 18 months, followed by our Embraer fleet. We believe this product will redefine customer expectations with the fastest in-flight Wi-Fi in the industry. This is especially important to our customers on coast-to-coast flights, where time spent in the air can now be as productive as on the ground."

The satellite-based Wi-Fi system has completed testing on the initial Airbus A320 aircraft for JetBlue and is currently being certified for United Airlines' Boeing 737-900 aircraft. And, LiveTV has initiated European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) certification for the Ka-band system for the Aer Lingus Airbus A320 fleet. In addition to superfast Wi-Fi, LiveTV offers its airline customers a customizable portal and an on-board streaming content server as part of the system.

About LiveTV

LiveTV is the world's leading provider of live in-flight entertainment and connectivity systems for commercial airlines. Founded in 1998 in Melbourne, Florida, LiveTV has installation and maintenance locations around the world to support the more than 600 commercial aircraft equipped with its products. Current customers include JetBlue, United Airlines, Frontier, Alitalia, Virgin Australia, WestJet and Azul. For a full listing of products and partners, or for more information, please visit LiveTV is a wholly-owned subsidiary of JetBlue Airways.