Alaska Airlines has become the first major airline to offer satellite Wi-Fi on a regional jet, selecting Intelsat’s technology to install across its entire fleet. 

The system will debut on its sister regional airline, Horizon Air, in early 2024, and will be expected to roll out across its fleet, including its partner SkyWest, over a two-year period. The carrier is on track to provide these Wi-Fi services across all jets by 2026.

The service will utilise an electronically steered array (ESA) which is a smaller, lighter-weight antenna – making it easier to maintain in the regional environment.

“Intelsat’s new systems closely align with Alaska’s needs to our regional fleet,” the company said in a statement on its website.

This US$25 million investment “represents a major step forward in the travel experience for our guests, enabling higher speeds and more coverage in the air,” the airline added.

Sangita Woerner, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Guest Experience for Alaska Airlines, added: “Intelsat’s new system will give our guests the peace of mind that no matter whether it’s a short flight or longer journey, there will be reliable, affordable and convenient Wi-Fi. It’s just another way we show care in the air.”