International Airlines Group (IAG), the parent company of British Airways, Spain’s Iberia, Spanish low-cost carrier Vueling and Ireland’s Aer Lingus, is set to be the launch customer of Inmarsat’s European Aviation Network (EAN) high-speed inflight broadband service.

Ninety percent of the company’s short-haul fleet will be equipped by early 2019. The service is the first to bring together satellite connectivity and a Long-Term Evolution (LTE)-based ground network.

Inmarsat will operate the service with its partner Deutsche Telekom, the satellite communications provider said.

“EAN allows European passengers to use their personal devices for internet browsing, video streaming, gaming and other online services, with unmatched high capacity, low-latency performance,” Inmarsat said, adding that EAN’s robust and ultra-compact technology is particularly well suited to the aircraft size, flight density and frequent maneuvers of European airspace.

IAG plans to equip more than 300 of its aircraft with EAN, Inmarsat said.

Helen Massy-Beresford/Aviation Week helen.massy-beresford@aviationweek.co.uk