November 1 2023  |  Connectivity & Satellites

Delta Air Lines selects Hughes Inflight connectivity solution for 400 717s

By Robynne Trueman

Hughes is bringing inflight connectivity to passengers on Delta Air Lines

Hughes Network Systems, LLC (Hughes) announced on November 1 that Delta Air Lines has selected the Hughes Inflight connectivity solution for its passenger Wi-Fi service. The service will become available on 400 of the airline's 717s serving North American destinations. This marks the first direct-to-airline IFC deal for Hughes in its 20 years in the industry.

The weight-optimized, high-performance aeronautical solution uses advanced artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities. It works with a multi-orbit antenna and Hughes JUPITER™ Ka-band satellite capacity to deliver reliable inflight connectivity IFC. The reliability of the connection gives passengers consistent IFC throughout the journey, the press release said.

“Hughes welcomes Delta and appreciates their collaborative approach to enabling an enhanced connectivity experience for their regional passengers,” said Reza Rasoulian, Vice President of Hughes. “Travellers expect a reliable Wi-Fi experience wherever they go, including in the air; the Hughes Inflight connectivity solution enables Delta to meet that expectation with fast gate-to-gate connectivity.”

Glenn Latta, the Managing Director of Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity, Delta, also commented: “Delta is committed to delivering a reliable Wi-Fi experience to all our passengers, including those flying on our regional carriers.”

“Our partnership with Hughes to create a low-weight, high-capability, gate-to-gate solution for our regional fleet brings us ever closer to fleet-wide connectivity at the speed and reliability our customers expect and unlocks our ability to elevate the experience further in the years to come,” Latta continued.

Initial installations are expected to begin in mid-2024. Hughes Inflight is capable of operating on JUPITER-enabled Ka-band high-throughput satellites around the world. It also supports seamless roaming across JUPITER-driven satellites, the press release said.

The solution is forward-compatible with the Hughes JUPITER 3 ultra-high-density satellite. The Hughes JUPITER 3 launched in July and will enter service later this year.

It is also compatible with additional Ka-band satellite systems, offering airlines wider coverage with lower latency. Said Hughes in its press release, “Globally, JUPITER System technology remains the de facto standard for satellite connectivity with proven performance.”

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