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IAG Confirms In-Flight WiFi for Most Short-Haul British Airways Flights

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016 (5:13 pm) - Score 859

The International Airlines Group and Satellite ISP Inmarsat have announced that in-flight WiFi will be introduced to 341 short-haul aircraft, including 132 British Airways, 125 Vueling, 45 Iberia and 39 Aer Lingus aircraft.

Apparently the first shorthaul aircraft to be equipped with WiFi connectivity – a British Airways A321 – will be in service next summer 2017. Aer Lingus, Iberia and Vueling aircraft will follow later in 2017. By 2019 it’s predicted that 90% of IAG airlines’ fleets will be fitted with the same connectivity.

The move follows a similar announcement for long-haul flights in May 2016 (here), which will be implement on 118 British Airways, 4 Aer Lingus (Boeing 757) and up to 15 Iberia long-haul aircraft.

Willie Walsh, CEO of IAG, said:

“We are giving our customers the fastest connectivity you can get on any aircraft. Having announced Wi-Fi for longhaul flights earlier this year we are now equipping our airlines’ shorthaul fleets with inflight broadband access. Connectivity is essential because it’s what our customers demand and IAG will be the first European airline group to offer high-quality air to ground Wi-Fi on shorthaul flights.”

Leo Mondale, President of Inmarsat Aviation, said:

“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. It will provide IAG airlines with unprecedented high-speed capacity by combining the strengths of Inmarsat’s satellite connectivity with a powerful ground network operated by our partner Deutsche Telekom. We look forward to working with Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia and Vueling on the rollout”.

Apparently Inmarsat intends to deploy its latest European air-to-ground connectivity, which will mix a Satellite and 4G based broadband network in order to deliver the service. It’s claimed that this setup should deliver enough “bandwidth capacity to use multiple devices at the same time” and the “connection speeds will be similar to what [people] have at home,” although that last claim could mean different things to different people.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
Leave a Comment
2 Responses
  1. Neil McRae says:

    Finally!

  2. Martin Lane says:

    It aint gonna be free that’s for sure. Expect hotel style prices.

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