Aer Lingus to offer passengers Wi-Fi access on short-haul flights
Melbourne, Florida-based LiveTV announced this morning that it has signed an agreement with Irish carrier Aer Lingus, to provide customers on its European network with in-cabin Internet access, reports local newspaper Florida Today.
The first aircraft to be fitted with the Internet capability is expected to launch mid-2013, the article continues, and will provide services via the KA-SAT satellite operated by Eutelsat Communications that offers high speed internet access throughout Europe.
“We have been investigating ways to bring in-cabin connectivity to our customers for quite some time,” Stephen Kavanagh, Aer Lingus Chief Commercial Officer said in a statement. “We believe we have secured the best product in terms of speed, capacity and value for money. This initiative is in direct response to customer feedback, from both business and leisure customers alike. Having direct access to in-cabin Wi-Fi is top of our customers’ wish-lists. We look forward to enhancing our customers’ experience and working for many years to come with LiveTV and Eutelsat.”
The letter of intent with LiveTV provides the framework for a definitive agreement to be negotiated with LiveTV. General terms of the agreement still being discussed and have been revealed.
“We’re excited about adding Aer Lingus as our Ka-band European launch airline,” added Glenn Latta, LiveTV’s President. “The decision by Ireland’s national carrier to select LiveTV’s Ka-band system validates that airlines are ready to skip first generation technologies and going straight to Ka-band, the most advanced services for true At Home in the Air broadband.”
LiveTV, a wholly owned subsidairy of JetBlue Airways, was founded in 1998 and has grown into one of the leading worldwide providers of streaming content to the commercial aviation sector. Current customers include JetBlue, Continental, Frontier, Alitalia, Virgin Australia, WestJet and Azul.
The new service will be available on Aer Lingus short-haul fleet, including Airbus A319/A320 and A321, from mid-2013.