Lufthansa to offer internet on board

26 May, 2007:

When it comes to innovation in the open skies, Lufthansa comes on top. The German airline has inked a deal with Boeing that will see broadband Internet service installed on its entire long-haul fleet. The service is expected to begin by the beginning of the next year.

So by the beginning of 2008, all 80 of Lufthansa's long-haul jets, including the Boeing 747-400 and the Airbus A340 and A330, will be fitted with Boeing's Connexion wireless Internet system, a report quoting Lufthansa officials said.

The airline had entered into a deal with Boeing in this regard and a trial had been started in January. During the trial period, Lufthansa offered the service free of charge on some flights between Frankfurt, Germany, and Washington, DC. British Airways also took part in the trial on flights between New York and London. Both Japan Airlines and SAS have decided to install the service on some of their long-range aircraft, but Lufthansa said it will be the first to outfit its entire long-haul fleet.

Aimed at making flight time better for business travellers, the service will see the airline installing two antennas on each aircraft, one to transmit data to satellites and one to receive data. A server and routing system inside the plane relays signals to and from plug-in ports at the seats or wireless networking cards in passengers' laptops.

Lufthansa officials however stopped short of revealing how much the airline would pay Boeing.




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