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EL AL Will Be First Customer in Europe for ViaSat In-flight Internet Service

March 7, 2014 Technology No Comments Email Email

EL AL has agreed to be the launch customer in Europefor Exede® In The Air in-flight Internet service from ViaSat Inc. (NASDAQ: VSAT).

To begin, ViaSat plans to deliver the service to EL AL Boeing 737s flying routes from Tel Aviv into several European cities. The two companies plan to immediately begin working toward certification and installation of the Exede terminals on EL AL aircraft with a target date to launch service within one year.

For EL AL, ViaSat is responsible for providing and managing a complete in-flight Internet service to the aircraft, including airborne terminals, antennas, radomes, and air time from the Eutelsat KA-SAT high-capacity Ka-band satellite. Additional details of what services will be offered to EL AL passengers will be announced closer to the launch of service.

“As part of our commercial strategy, installation of Internet service on European routes will significantly improve the quality of service and flight experience for EL AL customers,” said EL AL CEO Elyezer Shkedy. “Enabling passengers to connect to the Internet in flight is nothing less than a technological and service revolution. EL AL passengers who use portable computers, tablets or smartphones will be offered a choice of surfing packages, including a free option, so that during their EL AL flight passengers will be able to remain connected for work or pleasure.”

“As we introduce Exede in-flight service outside North America, we expect the same enthusiastic response we’ve seen since our launch in the U.S.,” said Mark Dankberg chairman and CEO of ViaSat. “The personalized, friendly flight experience that EL AL strives for is just the right fit for the fastest Internet in the air.”

“In flight broadband is a rapidly emerging market that we are uniquely positioned to develop in Europe via our KA-SAT high throughput satellite. We look forward to supporting ViaSat as it gears up to provide EL Al passengers the benefit of the high-capacity Exede In The Air service,” said Michel de Rosen, chairman and CEO of Eutelsat.

Exede in-flight Internet service is designed to eclipse the service quality and speeds of other in-cabin airline broadband services. The major differentiator is an innovative, high-capacity Ka-band satellite system developed by ViaSat. The more favorable economics of the ViaSat system enable airlines to provide a consistent, high-speed service level to each passenger, rather than simply an aggregate amount of bandwidth to the plane that leaves passengers competing for service. The system is capable of delivering 12 Mbps or more to each connected passenger.

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