Airborne communications provider Aircell on 21 January closed a private placement of equity securities totalling $176 million.

The company says it plans to use the proceeds from the placement to fund capital investments to support network expansion and operating needs.

"This substantial capital raise is a strong endorsement of our business achievements to date. Aircell is well positioned to continue its ongoing aircraft deployment and rapid acceleration in customer adoption of Gogo throughout 2010 and beyond," says Aircell chief executive officer Ron LeMay.

The company says it has deployed its Gogo in-flight broadband system on 700 commercial aircraft with commitments from a total of nine airlines.

Aircell in September 2009 also applied for a $65 million Broadband Technology Opportunities Programme grant available through the US Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration. The funding was set aside to expand broadband access to unserved and underserved communities in the USA.

Shortly after applying for the grant Aircell disclosed that it had laid off 35 employees and repositioned some contract workers.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news