Aer Lingus set to offer wifi on long-haul flights
Airline’s parent IAG has struck a new deal with US tech firm Gogo to provide wifi
By 2019 80 per cent of IAG’s long haul fleet will be fitted with the system, known as 2Ku
The carrier’s owner, International Consolidated Airlines’ Group (IAG) said on Thursday that four Aer Lingus Boeing 757s will be fitted with satellite technology giving passengers full broadband access.
By 2019 80 per cent of IAG’s long haul fleet will be fitted with the system, known as 2Ku.
Commenting on the deal, IAG chief executive Willie Walsh said “this state of the art technology will provide greater bandwidth, faster and broader coverage to our airlines’ customers”.
Mr Walsh indicated that customers could have to pay extra for aspects of the service.
“I would expect that for some services like streaming, there would be a charge, but the basic service is likely to be free,” he said.
He added that IAG was still debating the actual pricing structure. Mr Walsh likened the service to wifi in hotels, where guests generally get a basic service at no extra charge to their room rate, but do not get streaming, which requires extra capacity.
The service will be rolled out across all IAG airlines’ long-fleets to fit in with their general maintenance schedule and will begin next year.
Mr Walsh said that the aviation industry believes that passengers will ultimately “bring their own entertainment on board” for long-haul flights.