Finnair has signed an agreement with ViaSat Inc to install a high-speed wireless internet network on its entire Airbus A320 series short-haul fleet flying in Europe. The installation of the Wi-Fi equipment will begin in May 2017, and will be completed by June 2018.
With a connection speed of 12 Mbps or higher per passenger, the new system will offer the fastest in-flight internet connection currently available on the market, which enables the use of video streaming services. ViaSat will ensure end-to-end in-flight connectivity service across the Finnair fleet, and partnered with Eutelsat to deliver the high-speed satellite-based internet service, which will cover the European continent.
Last July, Finnair announced that its long-haul fleet of A330 aircraft would be retrofitted with Wi-Fi connectivity by May 2017. Finnair currently operates six A350XWBs which offer passengers wireless connectivity. The airline is expected to receive an additional five A350s by the end of… Continue reading
The airline industry seems to be pushing for ever more bandwidth on their aircraft. An early pioneer in this is Lufthansa which was among the first airlines to sign up for Boeing Connexion. Even after that program was abandoned, Lufthansa stayed committed to in-flight connectivity. Recently the airline was again pioneering and pushing for more bandwidth, and is now a user of the Panasonic solution. It appears the airline is experimenting with other options collaborating with Inmarsat and Deutsche Telekom.
The move by Lufthansa is not unique. As airlines take delivery of ever more e-Enabled aircraft the pressure is on to exploit the promise of better data transmissions to drive efficiency. To extract the maximum value proposition of e-Enablement, connectivity is key and better bandwidth is the Holy Grail. Take a look at this 2012 document from Star Alliance on e-Enablement.