JetBlue Airways' subsidiary LiveTV has received a "supplemental type certificate" from the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for its Ka-band inflight internet on Airbus A320 aircraft, paving the way for the airline to offer broadband on revenue flights.
Testing of the satellite-based wi-fi system has been completed on an initial JetBlue Airbus A320 aircraft and testing is also underway on a United Airlines Boeing 737-900ER aircraft, according to a media release from LiveTV.
"This is game-changing technology," says JetBlue's chief commercial officer Robin Hayes in the release. "We expect to have a number of JetBlue aircraft installed with wi-fi by the end of this year, and will aggressively roll it out across our Airbus fleet over the next 18 months, followed by our Embraer fleet."
Hayes adds that JetBlue's wi-fi, dubbed "Fly-Fi" by the airline, will likely be "the fastest in-flight wi-fi in the industry."
JetBlue has said it expects to initially operate three A320s with the system for 90 days while it conducts tests. Next year the airline plans to install the system on other A320s before installing it on its fleet of Embraer 190 aircraft.
JetBlue has 129 Airbus aircraft and 59 E-190s, according to Flightglobal's Ascend Online database.
LiveTv says it has also seeking Ka-band certification on Aer Lingus A320s from the European Aviation Safety Agency.