Ultra-low cost major Spirit Airlines is among the first to close the inflight connectivity gap by transitioning the vast majority of its fleet to Thales’ FlytLIVE service delivered over SES’ new high-powered SES-17 satellite.
“Spirit’s A320 and A321 fleet is among the youngest, most fuel efficient, and now among the most connected in the US today,” it said. “The vast majority of the carrier’s fleet offers access to one of the most intelligent high-throughput satellites (HTS), and the fastest Wi-Fi of any US-based airline (based on publicly available data).”
This first rollout of Thales’ FlytLIVE IFC service on SES-17 is especially noteworthy, as Spirit offers inflight Wi-Fi amenities, speeds and service options that aren’t typically available on ultra-low fare carriers.
SES is supporting Thales in offering an airline passenger experience with the most advanced Geostationary (GEO) Ka-band satellite in its fleet of 70 satellites. SES-17 is bringing the long-awaited high-speed connected home- or office-like experience to the fingertips of air travelers flying increasingly busy routes throughout the Americas.
Thales’ FlytLIVE delivered over this powerful satellite is providing Spirit Airlines the fastest Wi-Fi of any US airline at speeds of up to 400 megabits per second (Mbps) and exceptional reliability.
Featuring a fully digital payload run by the most powerful digital transponder processor in orbit, unmatched flexibility, and nearly 200 user beams, the SES-17 satellite system claims to be a major step in the integration of SES’s multi-orbit network.
This spacecraft is supported by Adaptive Resource Control (ARC) software, which makes it interoperable with the second-generation O3b mPOWER satellite communications system in Medium Earth Orbit (MEO), which saw its first two satellites launched late last year.
“This is a first-of-its-kind capability that will ultimately have more game-changing implications on connected planes, trains, cruise ships – the whole world of travel, as SES will be able to blend GEO and MEO satellite capacity to seamlessly enable connectivity in the air, at sea and on land like never before,” said Thales.