Viasat gains Chinese approval to install in-flight connectivity system on Boeing 737s

Interior shot of Boeing 737 cabin.
Kgbo, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

LONDON – Viasat is now approved by the Chinese aviation regulator to install its in-flight connectivity system on the Boeing 737 – an aircraft type that makes up over 75 percent of domestic aircraft in China.

China type certification

Global communications company Viasat has just been been awarded a Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) Validation of Supplemental Type Certificate (VSTC) to install its advanced Ka-band satellite connectivity system on the Boeing 737 aircraft series.

Following the validation of the A320 series in April 2022, this latest approval for the 737-NG series further strengthens the foundation for Chinese airlines to install and deploy Viasat’s industry-leading In-Flight Connectivity (IFC) system, including antenna, radome, modem, server and WAPs.

With the current rise in customer demand for in-flight entertainment and connectivity services, the via sat system effectively provides for video streaming and messaging services as well as Internet connectivity for passengers.

The Boeing 737 series VSTC joins a portfolio of Viasat certifications that have been applied globally to install Viasat’s IFC system on nearly 2,000 commercial aircraft.

In total, Viasat currently serves 18 airline customers, averaging over 200,000 flights per month around the world.

Don Buchman, Vice President and General Manager, Commercial Aviation at Viasat, stated, “Receiving CAAC validations is a great honor as we continue to invest in China for the long run.”

“Incredibly, our current CAAC certifications allow us to serve over 75 percent of aircraft in China. We are grateful to our partners and excited to support the digital transformation of Chinese airlines both domestically and for international flights.”

Improving passenger experience

In cooperation with China Satellite Communications, Co. Ltd. (China Satcom), Viasat’s IFC system connects with the Ka-band ChinaSat-16 satellite system to enable video streaming, browsing, messaging, social media scrolling and more to every connected device on Viasat-equipped aircraft operating over China.

Viasat’s IFC system can also connect to its global network outside of China.

In addition to optimizing passengers’ IFC experiences, Viasat’s solution can enable airlines to enhance passenger loyalty, improve operating efficiencies and increase revenue-generating opportunities through ancillary content and application programs.

Announced in December 2022, Sichuan Airlines is China’s first domestic carrier to partner with Viasat’s In-Flight Connectivity Solution and China Satcom’s Satellite System.

Sichuan Airlines has multiple aircraft delivering the service currently.

About Viasat

Viasat is a global communications company that believes everyone and everything in the world can be connected. For more than 35 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.

By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 3 Min Read
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