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Viasat (VSAT) to Power In-Flight Connectivity in JetBlue

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In a growing testament to the gradual revival of the airline industry from the COVID-19 setback, Viasat Inc. (VSAT - Free Report) has secured a prime contract for Ka-band satellite in-flight connectivity (IFC) solutions from low cost airline operator JetBlue Airways for an undisclosed amount. The improved IFC services will aim to offer enhanced Internet capabilities with best-in-class in-flight entertainment options to entice customers and will likely contribute to the uptrend in leisure air-travel demand.

Per the deal, JetBlue will use Viasat’s Ka-band IFC solutions in Airbus A220-300 and Airbus A321 Long Range aircraft. The solutions will enable high-quality, high-speed Internet and video streaming service on personal electronic device of users for free. In addition, Viasat will deliver live TV channels to a seatback entertainment system in both the aircraft.

Viasat’s Ka-band solutions enable business jet customers to enjoy high-speed Internet connectivity from takeoff to touchdown. It empowers aviation clients to reinforce their IFC investments and helps customers to stay connected with smooth web browsing and streaming services. Equipped with unrivalled speed and quality, Viasat’s Ka-band service has been specifically designed to meet accretive demands of data backed by next-gen business applications. The Ka-band leverages global bandwidth to provide avant-garde Internet service with best-in-market pricing to boost the competitiveness of the business jet market.

The surging popularity of high-engagement IFC solutions has forced leading airline companies to scout for new ways to utilize Viasat’s high-capacity satellite solutions to maximize passenger satisfaction. The company’s impressive bandwidth productivity sets it apart from conventional and lower-yield satellites providers that run on incumbent business models. With advanced level of Internet connectivity, JetBlue will offer customers an opportunity to stream all types of video content and seamlessly access free Wi-Fi aboard on air. In addition, it is likely to sow the seeds for future entertainment enhancements and personalization on customer seatback screens.

Viasat’s Satellite Services business is progressing well, with key metrics including steady growth of ARPU (average revenue per user) and revenues showing impressive growth. ARPU is growing on the back of solid retail distribution network, which accounts for a growing proportion of high value and high bandwidth subscriber base. Further, growing adoption of in-flight Wi-Fi services in commercial aircrafts like that of Delta Air is benefiting the business.

The stock has gained 12.5% over the past year while the industry has rallied 54.1% in the same period.


Viasat currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Some other top-ranked stocks in the industry are Aviat Networks, Inc. (AVNW - Free Report) , Clearfield, Inc. (CLFD - Free Report) and Nokia Corporation (NOK - Free Report) , each carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Aviat delivered an earnings surprise of 57.3%, on average, in the trailing four quarters.

Clearfield delivered a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 79.8%, on average.

Nokia has a long-term earnings growth expectation of 1.5%. It delivered an earnings surprise of 215.2%, on average, in the trailing four quarters.

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