In-flight connectivity trends with Don Buchman

Viasat’s head of commercial aviation on how the industry is roaring back


In this episode of the Viasat Podcast, host Alex Miller welcomes back Don Buchman, vice president and general manager for Commercial Aviation. It’s been a challenging couple of years for the aviation industry, but as it pulls out of the pandemic slump, Buchman sees a growing trend for airlines to improve their in-flight connectivity service.

As passengers increasingly expect Wi-Fi in the air to perform like what they get at their homes and offices, Viasat’s high-capacity satellite network has been able to deliver that kind of experience. At the same time, Buchman says, airlines are looking at ways to add value in other ways beyond just connectivity.

Topics touched on in this podcast:

  • The growing trend for airlines to up their game in the in-flight connectivity space
  • How offering free Wi-Fi in the air can be a viable business model
  • The ways in which streaming video is greatly increasing bandwidth demand and how Viasat is poised to address that
  • New airline customers Viasat has added in the past year and the continued growth of the company’s Commercial Aviation division
  • The rapid pace at which Viasat has been installing systems on aircraft
  • The importance of “capacity density” when it comes to meeting demand — even at busy airport hubs
  • Considerations around satellites in different orbits and how a future hybrid network could offer the best of all worlds
  • The upcoming ViaSat-3 constellation and how its capacity and global coverage will be a boon for our airline customers