Intelsat Completes Gogo Commercial Aviation Acquisition

Credit: Intelsat / Twitter

Satellite services provider Intelsat has completed its $400 million cash acquisition of Gogo’s commercial aviation business, creating a new internal division led by Gogo president John Wade.

“Broadband connectivity for nine of the top 20 global airlines and an installed base of more than 3,000 commercial aircraft are now part of Intelsat’s portfolio of services,” Intelsat said Dec. 1.

Chicago-headquartered inflight connectivity provider Gogo announced plans to sell its commercial aviation business in August, after being hard-hit by the COVID-19 downturn and shifting its strategic focus to business aviation.

On Dec. 1, Intelsat announced that the deal had been finalized. The transaction was originally expected to close before the end of the first quarter of 2021.

“Our ability to initiate, execute and rapidly finalize this transaction demonstrates the forward momentum that Intelsat has maintained over the course of this year,” Intelsat CEO Stephen Spengler said.

Intelsat filed for bankruptcy protection in May, but secured court permission for the acquisition, which was funded through debtor-in-possession financing. Intelsat is using the deal to combine its own high-throughput satellites with Gogo’s 2Ku antenna, strengthening its inflight connectivity presence.

“Airlines will no longer need to trade off speed, reliability or availability for coverage, even when flying at full capacity in and out of the busiest airport hubs,” Spengler said.

Following the closure of the deal, Gogo Commercial Aviation has become an Intelsat business division. Wade, who joined Gogo in 2008, will continue to lead the business.

Gogo chief strategy officer Jon Cobin has been named Intelsat chief strategy officer, while Intelsat SVP strategy and planning Bruno Fromont has changed roles to become Intelsat chief technology officer.

Victoria Moores

Victoria Moores joined Air Transport World as our London-based European Editor/Bureau Chief on 18 June 2012. Victoria has nearly 20 years’ aviation industry experience, spanning airline ground operations, analytical, journalism and communications roles.