BROOMFIELD, Colo. – Gogo (NASDAQ: GOGO) will lower the altitude at which passengers can begin using its connectivity services from 10,000 feet above ground level (AGL) to 3,000 feet AGL for a significant portion of its air-to-ground (ATG) fleet beginning July 20, 2020.
By enabling connectivity to begin at 3,000 feet, passengers will receive up to an additional 15-20 minutes of connectivity on many flights. The service will be available on business aviation aircraft equipped with AVANCE L5 or L3 systems, and on commercial aviation regional jets equipped with Gogo ATG-4 and ACPU2 technology.
The lower service altitude will enable aircraft that fly shorter flights and spend little to no time above 10,000 feet the opportunity to take advantage of in-flight connectivity for the majority of their flights. Approximately 25% of flights by Gogo equipped regional jets have durations under 60 minutes.
“The additional connectivity time is a significant enhancement and will deliver even more value to customers,” said Sergio Aguirre, president of Gogo Business Aviation. “It makes connectivity available to those who believed inflight Wi-Fi wasn’t an option because they fly shorter routes.”
Gogo will begin a phased process to enable service at 3,000 feet through ground-system configuration and remote software updates – all without requiring any onboard manual intervention. And Gogo will offer the additional service time with no additional fees.
Approximately 1,300 AVANCE systems flying in business aviation will benefit from this change, as will roughly 650, or 40%, of the commercial airline regional jets equipped with Gogo connectivity.
“By lowering the altitude where passengers can be connected, we’re improving the service to our airline customers and their passengers,” said John Wade, president of Gogo Commercial Aviation. “Passengers who fly shorter routes will now be able to be connected, allowing them to make the most of their time during those flights.”
Gogo has conducted hundreds of test flights of this product enhancement on approximately 50 aircraft during the past four months and has found that service at 3,000 feet will be available at most locations throughout the contiguous United States.
“In our flight testing, we found that the AVANCE L5 consistently performed well at altitudes below 10,000 feet and provided a quality connectivity experience for our passengers,” said Tim Eames, chief pilot for Odin 123, LLC, that participated in several test flights for Gogo. “The additional time to conduct business or make arrangements was valuable and appreciated by our passengers.”
The customer experience will be similar across both the AVANCE L5 and L3 systems and on the qualifying ATG-4/ACPU2-equipped commercial fleet. Testing shows service may not be available everywhere and system performance may vary from airport to airport, Gogo’s service guarantees apply once an aircraft reaches 10,000 feet above ground level (AGL).
Until now, Gogo enabled access to its connectivity services beginning at 10,000 feet AGL. Through software and configuration changes, as well as some modifications to the network, Gogo determined it was possible to provide service at a lower altitude using its licensed spectrum in the 850 MHz range.
Gogo is the Inflight Internet Company. We are the leading global provider of broadband connectivity products and services for aviation. We design and source innovative network solutions that connect aircraft to the Internet and develop software and platforms that enable customizable solutions for and by our aviation partners. Once connected, we provide industry leading reliability around the world. Our mission is to help aviation go farther by making planes fly smarter, so our aviation partners perform better and their passengers travel happier.
You can find Gogo's products and services on thousands of aircraft operated by the leading global commercial airlines and thousands of private aircraft, including those of the largest fractional ownership operators. Gogo is headquartered in Chicago, with additional facilities in Broomfield, Colo., and locations across the globe. Connect with us at gogoair.com or business.gogoair.com
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
Certain disclosures in this press release include "forward-looking statements" that are based on management's beliefs and assumptions and on information currently available to management. Most forward-looking statements contain words that identify them as forward-looking, such as "anticipates," "believes," "continues," "could," "seeks," "estimates," "expects," "intends," "may," "plans," "potential," "predicts," "projects," "should," "will," "would" or similar expressions and the negatives of those terms that relate to future events. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this press release, and Gogo undertakes no obligation to update or revise publicly any such forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. These forward-looking statements are based on estimates and assumptions by Gogo's management that, although Gogo believes them to be reasonable, are inherently uncertain. Important factors that could cause actual results, developments and business decisions to differ materially from these forward-looking statements include developments in the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting impact on Gogo's business, operations and financial condition and the other uncertainties described under the heading "Risk Factors" in Gogo's Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the SEC on March 13, 2020.