Panasonic Avionics has reached a multi-year agreement with Russian satellite service provider RuSat that will enable in-flight connectivity on aircraft flying over the Russian Federation.

The agreement comes as sources tell ATI and Flightglobal that a deal to fit Russian operator Transaero's aircraft with Panasonic's eXConnect connectivity system is in the works.

Under terms of the arrangement between Panasonic and RuSat, the latter company will be responsible for the broadband data link between RuSat's gateway station in Moscow and the airborne satellite station (AES) provision, says a Panasonic spokesman.

RuSat has also obtained approval from the Russian State Radio Frequency Committee to allocate Ku-band capacity on the Yamal-201 satellite for Panasonic's in-flight connectivity services. As a result, Panasonic "will be able to use the Russian Yamal-201 satellite to provide broadband services to crew passengers on board aircraft equipped with eXConnect", says the spokesman.

He adds: "The Yamal-201 satellite, which is strategically located at 90 degrees East longitude, provides Ku-band coverage over almost the entire territory of the Russian Federation and is uniquely suited for our service."

Panasonic declines to comment on talks with Transaero. The airline could not be immediately reached for comment. Transaero operates a mixed fleet that includes Boeing 737s, 747s, 767s, 777s and Tupolev Tu-214 aircraft, according to Flightglobal's ACAS database.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news