airberlin equips entire fleet with Panasonic Wi-Fi service
The airberlin group has equipped the first two aircraft in its fleet with the new 'airberlin connect' Wi-Fi service. The two A320s, registered D-ABNJ and OE-LEL, now boast a Wi-Fi system from Panasonic Avionics Corporation, allowing passengers to access the internet with their own smartphone, tablet or laptop during the flight.
In addition, passengers on short- and medium-haul flights will enjoy an entertainment offering with TV series, movies and music available for streaming to their own device with the new Wi-Fi service. Passengers will be able to choose their own personal entertainment from more than 180 hours of media. On long-haul routes, passengers will continue to enjoy the RAVE in-seat entertainment system.
"With the new Wi-Fi service, our passengers can stay online during the flight and stay in touch with their families, friends and business partners. We will gradually expand the new service to almost the entire fleet," said Wolfgang Prock-Schauer, Chief Executive Officer of airberlin.
"airberlin is the first German airline to offer inflight internet access not only on long-haul flights, but also on short- and medium-haul flights. We are very pleased to work together with Panasonic to offer our passengers an innovative Wi-Fi product that further adds to comfort on board our aircraft," Prock-Schauer added.
The first two aircraft equipped with airberlin connect will service the new Stuttgart-Abu Dhabi and Vienna-Abu Dhabi routes. The first flight from Stuttgart to Abu Dhabi takes off on December 1, 2014, bringing inflight internet to passengers on this route for the first time. On the new Vienna-Abu Dhabi connection from Austrian subsidiary NIKI, passengers will be able to use the new onboard Wi-Fi service as early as November 24th, 2014.
“Wi-Fi is a vital part of the inflight experience because travelers expect to be perpetually connected and because airlines want to leverage connectivity to improve operational efficiencies. We are very honored to work with airberlin to deliver a solution that meets their unique technology and business challenges. With our eXConnect service, airberlin has chosen the industry’s most capable, platform-agnostic, and scalable broadband service available today," said Paul Margis, President and Chief Executive Officer for Panasonic Avionics Corporation.
airberlin offers various time and data packages for airberlin connect: for 4,90 € (US$6.15), passengers receive 30 minutes of internet access, including 20 MB of data. Passengers can purchase an hour of internet access, including 50 MB of data, for 8,90 € (US$11.16). The price includes use of the entertainment selection, which is available for the entire duration of the flight at no additional cost, even after the package time or data limits are used up.
Passengers who wish to be online during an entire medium-haul flight can select the 13,90 € (US$17.44) package, which includes 90 MB of data, while the Full Flight Package for long-haul flights costs 18,90 € (US$23.71), and includes 120 MB of data. Packages can be conveniently paid by credit card via the web browser on passengers' own mobile device or laptop.
On the new Stuttgart-Abu Dhabi and Vienna-Abu Dhabi connections, passengers can enjoy the entertainment offered by airberlin connect free of charge. Internet access during the entire flight to or from Abu Dhabi on these routes costs 13,90 € (US$17.44), including 90 MB of data.
airberlin plans to complete equipping its fleet within three years.