Air France/KLM has selected Gogo 2Ku high-speed satellite-based connections to offer customers new Wi-Fi connections on long-haul flights.
The new contract covers 124 aircraft, including the airlines’ Boeing 777 and Airbus A330 planes. The airlines will also have the option to install this Wi-Fi on more aircraft in future.
“We want to offer our customers the best possible solution to stay connected. By installing the latest Wi-Fi technology on board on more than 120 aircraft in our long-haul fleet, we are once again illustrating our ability to innovate and provide all our passengers with the best possible experience,” says Michel Pozas Lucic, Vice President Customer Innovation and Care at Air France-KLM.
Air France-KLM already offers Wi-Fi on their Boeing 787 Dreamliner planes: 8 planes operated by KLM, and the first aircraft will be operated by Air France as from 9 January next year. These aircraft are equipped by Panasonic Avionics Wi-Fi connections.
The costs of these Gogo 2Ku Wi-Fi connections are not yet published, but Air France-KLM has designed a free-access onboard portal where customers can find information about their flight, arrange travel details and find entertainment beyond that in the catalogue seat-back inflight entertainment systems. This special portal is also available on Dreamliner aircraft connected through Panasonic Avionics.
Air France-KLM has said that it believes Gogo’s 2Ku service–using the connectivity company’s proprietary slim and lightweight antenna–is a “future-proof” platform, and scalable to meet growing demands from customers.
“We are delighted to bring Gogo’s industry leading 2Ku technology to one of the largest airlines in the world and two of the most iconic brands in commercial aviation,” says Michael Small, Gogo’s president and CEO. “2Ku delivers a ground-like performance to aircraft flying around the world today, including the ability to stream video. One of the many benefits of 2Ku is that it’s built on an open architecture and can leverage new technology advancements in the future, which means the technology will get even better over time and will provide passengers with a superior connectivity experience now and in the future.”
The first plane equipped with Gogo 2Ku connections is expected to be in service at the end of 2017, and the balance of aircraft will be equipped with the 2Ku antennas to support the Wi-Fi connection between 2018-2019.
Europe’s skies are quickly becoming a heated battle ground for in-flight connectivity, as European airlines work to match the services offered by U.S. partners and competitors.
Airline group IAG, which owns Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia and Vueling, also announced that it would install Gogo 2Ku Wi-Fi service on transatlantic flights earlier this year.
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