International Airlines Group to bring in-flight Wi-Fi to British Airways, Iberia and Aer Lingus long-haul routes
Passengers on some long haul British Airways flights will be able to access in-flight Wi-Fi and live entertainment services, such as sport, after its parent agreed a deal with satellite broadband operator Gogo.
International Airlines Group (AIG), which is also an umbrella organisation for Aer Lingus and Iberia, becomes the first European airline group to sign up for Gogo’s service.
Boeing 787 and Airbus A380 planes will be among those equipped with the system, of which 118 belong to British Airways, 15 to Iberia and 4 to Aer Lingus. The first Wi-Fi equipped British Airways aircraft will come into service next year, with rollout across the group completed by 2019.
Read More: Is In-flight Wi-Fi ready for take off?
BA has already agreed a separate deal with Inmarsat to deliver Wi-Fi on short haul European and domestic routes from this year.
“We are delighted to bring Gogo’s industry leading 2Ku technology to three of the most iconic brands in commercial aviation,” said Michael Small, Gogo CEO. “2Ku is delivering a ground-like performance to aircraft flying around the world today.
“But one of the many benefits of 2Ku is that it’s built on an open architecture and can leverage numerous Ku satellites around the world today and new advancements in the Ku-band coming online in the future. This means the technology will get even better over time and will provide passengers with a superior connectivity experience now and in the future.”
Gogo claims its ‘2Ku’ system is a key differentiator in the race to connect the world’s skies, as its antenna can swing round to find the best signal. It says new satellite technologies are a far cry from traditional setups, which are characterised by slow speeds and high latency.
TechWeekEurope tested the system on a flight around Southern England last month and the company believes Europe is a huge market waiting to be captured as adoption has been slower than in the US. Other Gogo customers include Delta and Virgin Atlantic.