Air New Zealand to offer inflight Wi-Fi

CEO Christopher Luxon announced the move at a trade event in Sydney
  • Stuart Corner (Computerworld New Zealand)
  • 07 October, 2016 15:55

Air New Zealand says it will offer inflight Wi-Fi on its jet services, starting with flights between New Zealand and Australia in the second half of 2017.

CEO Christopher Luxon announced the move at a trade event in Sydney saying proving flights would begin in the second half of 2017 and services made available progressively on trans-Tasman, Pacific Island and long haul jet fleets from the end 2017. Domestic jet services are “likely to offer a Wi-Fi service from 2018,” the company said.

Luxon said Air New Zealand was is in the final stages of commercial negotiations with Inmarsat and Panasonic Avionics with internet connectivity to be supplied by Inmarsat’s new global GX satellite constellation and integrated with Air New Zealand’s in-cabin Panasonic Avionics technology.

“Given Air New Zealand operates some of the longest flights in the world, and in oceanic areas where there has historically been poor quality satellite service, we have patiently worked with partners until comfortable that a service which meets the high expectations of our customers is available,” he said.

“Proving flights on a partner company test aircraft have now given us the confidence to introduce what we believe will be the world’s most reliable inflight connectivity. Customers will be able to use their social media channels, stay on top of emails and browse the Internet.”

He added: “Our new system will also allow us to enhance real time features within our state of the art inflight entertainment system as well as providing our flight crew with an enhanced ability to manage customer requests related to their ground travel.”