Vistara ties up with Nelco, Panasonic arm to start in-flight broadband services

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on February 19, 2020

Partners with Nelco, Panasonic Avionics

Tata Group’s airline carrier Vistara on Wednesday announced its partnership with Nelco (another firm belonging to the Tata Group) and Panasonic Avionics to provide in-flight broadband in its flights from next month.

The airline plans to offer broadband services on certain international routes by March-end after inducting Dreamliners and Airbus 321 planes, said the company. Vistara would also be the first domestic carrier to provide in-flight broadband for passengers.

“We have ordered Dreamliners and A321 which will be delivered by March-end. We will start their commercial operations on international routes by April with in-flight services on-board. In the next two weeks, we will sit with Nelco and Panasonic to decide on the price (tariffs),” Vinod Kannan, Chief Strategy Officer, Vistara told reporters here.

He said the services would also be available for domestic routes as well.

“We will get four Dreamliners and two A321 aircraft this year. By end of 2021, we will be offering in-flight connectivity in 10 aircraft,” Kannan added.

‘A new chapter’

Nelco is a leading VSAT (very small aperture terminal) solutions provider and has named this project — Aero In-Flight Communication (IFC) services — and it is the first Indian company to provide this service in the country.

“Nelco is spearheading in providing the long-awaited Aero IFC services in the country, marking the beginning of a new chapter in passenger services for the aviation sector in India. We have forged the partnership with Panasonic Avionics in serving their customers and we forsee a great opportunity for growth in the IFC services in the country and intend to be a leader in this market,” said PJ Nath, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Nelco.

The partnership among the three companies are of five years, said Nath, adding that the company will also take care of annual maintenance of the services. The company will be taking connectivity from ISRO satellite to provide the services on air.

In December 2018, the government had announced the licenses for in-flight and maritime communications that allows broadband Internet services while flying over the Indian skies and sailing in Indian waters, both for international and Indian aircraft and vessels.

Published on February 19, 2020

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