Lufthansa Group Selects the European Aviation Network for In-Flight Connectivity Upgrades

European Aviation Network (EAN) for the Lufthansa Group

  • Lufthansa, SWISS and Austrian Airlines get innovative broadband solution in aircraft
  • More than 150 additional aircraft to be equipped with EAN
  • EAN offers Lufthansa Group passengers the best in-flight broadband connection

Lufthansa Group has selected Viasat and Deutsche Telekom to equip more than 150 aircraft with EAN (European Aviation Network). With this solution, passengers on board Lufthansa, SWISS and Austrian Airlines aircraft can enjoy high-speed Internet. EAN combines S-band satellite coverage from Viasat with a complementary ground network (CGN) operated by Deutsche Telekom. EAN provides high-speed Internet on airplanes that supports streaming and other broadband applications.

Viasat acquired Inmarsat last year and continues its long-standing, successful partnership with Deutsche Telekom and the Lufthansa Group. Inmarsat has been providing its satellite-based service (Ka-band) to the Lufthansa Group since 2015. This purely satellite-based solution is already on board 240 Lufthansa Group aircraft flying on short and medium-haul routes. Deutsche Telekom acts as an Internet service provider for various in-flight services. In February 2018, both partners launched the European Aviation Network, which is already being used by other European airlines.

By opting for EAN, the Lufthansa Group can offer its passengers uniform, reliable connectivity in the aircraft, regardless of the route or the aircraft. The more than 150 aircraft added include the Airbus A319, A320ceo, A320neo, A321ceo, A321neo and A220 fleet types.

EAN is a unique example of Europe's technological and regulatory leadership. Air travelers can now enjoy excellent in-flight connectivity above the continent.

EAN uses small and lightweight antennas with low air resistance for reception. The new technology is also a step forward in terms of sustainability: the total weight of the system is significantly lower at just 60 kg. This considerably reduces additional kerosene consumption and CO2 emissions. This factor was decisive in the Lufthansa Group's choice of EAN antennas for its A320 and A220 fleets.

Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines offer their guests unlimited free messaging on aircraft already equipped with Internet access.
Travelers can send and receive as many messages as they like on their own smartphone or tablet free of charge during the flight. To use this service, passengers must log in to FlyNet with a Miles&More service card number or an e-mail address registered with the Lufthansa Group Travel ID. Passengers can also follow their flight live on the moving map, receive information on connecting flights, use the chat assistant for service questions, download e-journals, browse the Worldshop or view the onboard menu.

Don Buchman, GM and VP, Commercial Aviation at Viasat, said: “We’re so pleased to continue our long-standing partnership with Lufthansa Group, bringing the consistent, seamless in-flight connectivity solution that passengers want via the European Aviation Network. With so many passengers set to benefit, we’re excited to see the impact that EAN has on Lufthansa, SWISS, and Austrian Airlines’ fleets – especially in helping them remain at the forefront of offering a superior passenger experience, no matter which intra-European route or aircraft they fly.”

David Fox, Vice President, Inflight and Connectivity Services at Deutsche Telekom, said: “EAN is a game-changer in inflight connectivity. The service adapts perfectly to Europe’s unique telco infrastructure and provides an exceptional connectivity experience for passengers while they fly above the European continent. EAN also offers a highly compelling business case for carriers such as Lufthansa Group due to its lightweight, small and low maintenance equipment.”

A Viasat study from 2023 on the passenger experience found that 83% of passengers surveyed would book again with an airline that offers high-quality WiFi on board. Wi-Fi on the plane is important for 81% of respondents. This shows that high-quality broadband services are very important for passengers, and therefore also for airlines.