Spirit Perfects Wi-Fi Portal As Partners Prepare For SES-17 Launch – Runway Girl


Spirit Airlines conducts in-flight Wi-Fi tests on a limited number of aircraft and, according to its aviation service provider partner Thales InFlyt Experience, the portal is currently being refined to optimize the experience of aircraft. passengers.

During this temporary trial period, guests can access the supported Ka-band satellite connectivity service – both messaging and streaming packages – on select Airbus A320 family aircraft, according to Thales InFlyt .

“Spirit is eager to apply this to its entire fleet,” said Craig Olson, vice president of connectivity solutions at Thales InFlyt, yesterday during a press briefing to discuss the French aerospace manufacturer’s plans for operate the high-capacity SES-17 satellite for Spirit. and other airline customers.

Manufactured by Thales Alenia Space, the SES-17 satellite is planned launch tomorrow aboard an Ariane 5 vehicle, from the Arianespace Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana.

“Part of what we’re doing right now is really working with Spirit on optimizing the human-machine interface and the passenger experience through the portal, ease of purchase and consistency of service and we we feel extremely good where we are. over there, ”Olson said, noting that Spirit will direct the message around their product.

Spirit in an online update said, “We will announce the prices for the Wi-Fi sessions at the end of our testing. During our initial testing period, Wi-Fi will be available to customers at reduced rates. “

Olson said Thales InFlyt has made “absolutely huge progress” in terms of installing the IFC system on the Spirit fleet.

In 2017, Thales, SES and Hughes associates provide an enhanced in-flight connectivity solution under the Thales FlytLIVE brand. The agreement provides for SES to lease Ka-band capacity on Hughes satellites in orbit with the intention of expanding this coverage with the addition of SES-17..

Hughes, who provides full network management and ground station services for the partnership, supported in-flight connectivity transmissions onboard the Spirit as part of the silent test, with data transmission over the ThinKom Solutions VICTS Antenna at the top of each fuselage (itself an upgrade from Thales original FlytLIVE hardware).

“[W]e have a deep relationship with [SES CEO Steve Collar’s] team that dates back to the early stages of 2014 and we are currently operating under a network that SES helped set up for Thales, made up of assets from SES as well as assets from other satellite providers, which really shows that the having the right kinds of partnerships to go together, these networks are critically important as you move forward, ”said Olson.

In the case of Spirit, noted Olson, the low cost airline “operates under this network which is already in service and SES-17 will simply bring this next step of unprecedented capacity performance… It is exciting to know that Spirit will be effectively the launch airline of SES-17 and I can safely speak for [Spirit Airlines CEO Ted Christie] and his team that they are very enthusiastic about this, but also delighted to put themselves into service within the framework of the current network. “

The Thales InFlyt executive declined to provide further details on the Spirit program, which is delayed for a few years in part due to technical issues with the original Thales antenna. He said it was “very understandable” that Spirit wanted FlytLIVE to dominate its fleet dominance before making a general announcement.

SES-17 is a very high speed satellite in geosynchronous orbit, built to serve North America, South America, the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean with Ka band coverage. While meeting demands for high-speed and flexible data connectivity in the aviation, marine, corporate and government segments, Thales InFlyt is its primary customer for the aviation industry and hopes to attract more other airline customers for FlytLIVE.

The SES-17 satellite will be transported on the Ariane 5 vehicle from Arianespace

The launch of the SES-17 satellite is scheduled for October 22. Image: Thales Alenia Space

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Spirit Airlines images credited to Mary Kirby

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