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Published on : Friday, November 4, 2016
The new “high speed” in-flight internet will roll out on British Airways flights next summer, along with flights from Aer Lingus, Iberia, and Vueling later in 2017. And by 2019, over 90% of British Airways owner International Airlines Group (IAG) flights will be fitted with the Wi-Fi on board.
Passengers flying with the airline will be able to watch Netflix, work on Twitter and access the internet and call their family and friends on Skype or FaceTime once the service is introduced.
It’s all made possible thanks to satellite technology from Inmarsat, which will provide customers with internet access to use on mobile devices.
The deal with technology firm Inmarsat means travellers will be able to connect to 4G in the skies and, according to IAG, have the bandwidth capacity to use multiple devices at the same time with “connection speeds… similar to what they have at home”.
Inmarsat has promised that passengers will have sufficient bandwidth capacity to use multiple devices at the same time, and that “connection speeds will be similar to what they have at home.”
Leo Mondale, President of Inmarsat Aviation said that,the European Aviation Network is a game changer for the millions of airline passengers that have been cut-off from fast, reliable and consistent broadband access during flights in Europe.
Up to 341 short-haul aircraft are going to be kitted out with the high-speed internet, 132 of which belong to British Airways. The first aircraft to fly with the connectivity on board will be a BA A321 craft.
There is no word yet on costs but it is expected that a basic service will be free to use, with fees charged for premium connections.
BA only currently offers Wi-Fi on some of its long-haul aircraft, while rivals Lufthansa and Norwegian already offer it on shorter flights. While relatively novel in the UK and Europe, Wi-Fi on flights is more common in the US, with American, Delta and United Airlines all providing the service.