British Airways indicated that it is moving ahead on its plans to offer Wi-Fi access on its long-haul Boeing fleet. Media reports said that the Wi-Fi service would be available sometime this year on its select Boeing 747 flights. According to the reports, the Wi-Fi service was being tested for past several years with different providers. The company finally arrived at a decision last year saying that it would be using the Gogo service, which was also being used by airlines such as Delta Air Lines among others.
The new technology being adopted by Gogo for providing Wi-Fi access is called “2Ku”. The reports said that a total of 118 aircrafts operated by British Airways, four Boeing 757 aircrafts operated by Aer Lingus and up to 15 long-haul aircrafts operated by Iberia would be fitted with the new 2Ku technology. Currently, the existing Airbus A330 fleets owned by Aer Lingus and Iberia have Panasonic GS connectivity installed on them.
A spokesperson of British Airways said, “The new Wi-Fi service is named “Simply Connect”. Simple web browsing would be supported through which the customers would be able to check their emails and use social media. Apart from this, another service called “Connect Plus” would be offering faster connectivity for supporting video-streaming services like You Tube.”
The Wi-Fi access would be available to customers booking flights in various travel classes such as First Class, Business Class, Premium Economy and Economy Class. The customers would be offered two packages with three times slots for each, which includes package for one hour, four hours and for full flight duration. These packages would be available for purchase. The airline is yet to disclose the pricing structure of these packages and time slots, and also whether discounts would be offered or not or customers traveling in premium cabins would be provided free Wi-Fi access, or whether this would also be for top tier card holders in the British Airways Executive Club.
British Airways in a statement indicated that the Wi-Fi services would be initially rolled out on its Boeing 747 aircrafts operated out of London Heathrow to select international destinations such as Toronto, Seattle, San Diego, Riyadh, Chicago, Kuwait, Johannesburg, New York, Washington, Dubai and Boston.