JetBlue to fly first few A321s without LiveTV, wireless internet

Washington DC
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JetBlue Airways expects to operate at least two Airbus A321s without inflight video starting this winter as it seeks certification to operate the aircraft with an updated LiveTV system.

JetBlue is scheduled to take delivery this year of four Airbus A321s, two of which the airline says it will deploy from 19 December to 6 January, the busy winter holiday travel season.

Those two aircraft, which will have 190 economy seats, will fly from New York’s John F. Kennedy International airport to Fort Lauderdale in Florida, San Juan in Puerto Rico and the island of Barbados, says JetBlue

Though the aircraft will have 10.1in (0.26m) seat-back video screens and LiveTV antennas, the screens will be dark because the US Federal Aviation Administration must certify the next-generation video system, called LiveTV 4.0.

The process to receive the “supplemental type certificate” could be lengthy, the airline says.

“The process takes time and if past is prelude, it will take longer than expected as all work gets pushed forward due to the US government shut down,” JetBlue says.

The airline says customers on aircraft without LiveTV will be issued a $15 credit towards future JetBlue travel.

The initial A321s also will not have LiveTV’s new Ka-band internet service, which JetBlue calls Fly-Fi.

LiveTV, a subsidiary of JetBlue, already received a supplemental type certificate to operate A320s with the Ka-band system, but has not yet received certification for the system on A321s.

JetBlue may also deploy A321s during the heavy Presidents’ Day holiday in February 2014, says the airline.