By BRAD GRAVES
Tuesday, February 23, 2016
ViaSat Inc. said Feb. 22 that it signed a memorandum of understanding with Australia-based Qantas Airways to bring in-flight Internet connectivity to passengers on Qantas flights in Australia.
Carlsbad-based ViaSat (Nasdaq: VSAT) said Qantas is the first airline in the Asia Pacific region to select its service. The tech company said in-flight Internet trials are expected to start in late 2016, and a full rollout is expected in 2017.
“We know as a premium airline, Qantas must deliver on its promise to bring quality services to its customers, and we are flattered Qantas selected ViaSat as its in-flight partner of choice,” said Mark Dankberg, ViaSat’s chairman and CEO, in a prepared statement.
In other news, ViaSat stock was still benefiting from its Feb. 16 run-up, closing Feb. 22 at $70.46 and trading at $71.78 at midday Feb. 23.
ViaSat stock closed up nearly 12 percent to $69.81 on Feb. 16 when it looked as though American Airlines would be leaving its satellite Internet provider, Gogo. By Feb. 22 Gogo (Nasdaq: GOGO) had announced that American (NYSE: AAL) had dismissed the declaratory judgment action it had filed Feb. 12 against Gogo — in other words, its dispute with American was cooling.
Subsequently, Gogo announced that it was buying capacity on three satellites that global satellite operator SES plans to launch in 2017. Chicago-based Gogo said it has partnerships with 12 commercial airlines and has its equipment installed on 2,500 commercial aircraft.