July 14 2022  |  Connectivity & Satellites

Spirit Airlines A320 fleet gets Wi-Fi boost

By Rick Lundstrom

Spirit Airlines’ fleet of A320s and A321s will be offering high-speed Wi-Fi using the FlytLIVE solution from Thales and satellite coverage on its routes in the US, Latin America and the Caribbean.

Media members were given a preview of the initial installations Tuesday in a press conference with representatives from Spirit Airlines and Thales laying out aspects of the high-throughput connectivity solution that will make use of the SES-17 satellite and Hughes aviation satellite network.

Starting Wednesday, passengers were able to purchase Wi-Fi when they book their flight. It will be available on the Spirit app August 10 for flights on or after August 24.

The transition to the SES-17 satellite for internet coverage is taking place in July and August, The Spirit full fleet to be on FlytLIVE with SES-17 by September. The aircraft are equipped with the Ka-band antenna from ThinKom.

Currently, Spirit says that more than 80 percent of its fleet has Wi-Fi capability, and the airline is scheduled to receive 24 A320neos this year. An additional 33 aircraft will be delivered in 2023. The airline will later determine whether to expand the option to its A319 aircraft.

Spirit has rolled out an initial payment plan. Payment structure during the flight will be based on the duration. Prices for web browsing will start at US$2.99 which will allow passenger to e-mail, chat and access social media. For streaming content, pricing options will start at US$5.99.

Streaming at 400 megabytes per second will be possible through the access of the SES-17 satellite that is manufactured by Thales Alenia Space and is equipped with 200 beams of mixed size. Thales says that capacity over high-traffic routes will be seamless and flexible.

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