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ViaSat buys connected aircraft software maker Arconics

William Payne
November 24, 2016
 
American satellite communications operator ViaSat has acquired aviation software provider Arconics. The acquisition gives ViaSat broader expertise, aviation-grade software and mobile applications, as well as a range of connected aircraft infotainment applications designed to create new service and revenue opportunities for airlines.
 
The Arconics connected aircraft software platform hosts the Arconics App Suite, which spans wireless in-flight entertainment (IFE), electronic flight bag, airline document management and cabin management services, to communicate and share data with the aircraft, and using available connectivity to connect with ground systems across mobile or avionics platforms.
 
Arconics' airline customers include Qatar Airways, Cathay Pacific, Ryanair, Aer Lingus, Philippine Airlines, Tigerair Australia and SpiceJet.
 
"By acquiring Arconics, we are bolstering our ability to serve the global aviation market," said Don Buchman, vice president and general manager at ViaSat. "We believe combining our strengths with Arconics will position ViaSat to be the market leader for connectivity, passenger services and flight deck applications and operations."
 
Prior to the acquisition, Arconics had a partnership with ViaSat, primarily focused on serving the wireless IFE needs of multiple airline customers.
 
Post-acquisition, ViaSat expects to also offer airlines real-time insight, control and agility of aircraft and flight data with integrated, customisable aircraft operations tools using ViaSat's Ka-band satellite network.
 
In connection with the acquisition, ViaSat established a presence in Dublin, Ireland, and will continue to build its operations in Sydney, Australia. More than 30 Arconics team members with both technical and business expertise will join ViaSat, including Arconics chief executive Niall O'Sullivan.
 
"ViaSat offers Arconics a strategic match – both culturally and technologically," said O'Sullivan. "We know ViaSat well, having partnered with them on a number of opportunities to deliver our world-class CloudStore wireless IFE product. Together, we believe the complementary nature of the technologies and products of Arconics and ViaSat will enhance the combined company's ability to deliver exceptional end-to-end experiences across the entire aircraft value-chain."