2014: An In-Flight Connectivity Year in Review
As 2014 is winding down, we here at @Altitude have been discussing what an amazing year it has been for in-flight connectivity! So much has happened; we thought it would be fun to review some of the highlights in case you missed them.
This is a very important number for us! It represents the number of airlines around the world which, as of 2014, offer passengers some type of in-flight connectivity. 2014 saw this number grow more rapidly than any year previously and with airlines in the greatest range of countries. If you’re new to the @Altitude community, be sure to stop by our page of connected airlines, which we are happy to say we’re updating the list quite frequently!
* China Eastern Airlines provided free Wi-Fi service to passengers for approximately 3 months under a trial license, with commercial service anticipated to begin in 2015.
Estimated passengers watched the FIFA World Cup Final LIVE in-flight. This was the first time that all 64 games were broadcast for on board viewing. Throughout the duration of the tournament (June 12th – July 13th) about 1.5 million passengers watched the game in-flight.
The Boeing Dreamliner is the latest airplane model to enter commercial service equipped with “line fit” connectivity. In case you’re not the typical #AvGeek traveler, “line fit” is the term used to indicate that a plane is built with certain equipment as opposed to “retro-fit” which indicates that the equipment was added after a plane has been in passenger service. September of this year, United (UAL) was the first airline to take delivery of a 787-9 Dreamliner equipped with in-flight Wi-Fi. They were quickly followed by Virgin Atlantic, which also began service with their connected 787-9 in October. UAL’s first route launch of their connected Dreamer brings us to our next number:
United’s Los Angeles to Melbourne route featuring their connected Dreamliner travels this distance, in miles, making this the longest route of the 787-9 offering in-flight Wi-Fi. October 26th was the launch flight for this route, if you’re looking to book a transpacific flight and can’t be in the air that long without your Wi-Fi connection.
And just because it was such a fun way to use in-flight Wi-Fi, which you might have missed, we have to tip our hats to Virgin Atlantic for #FlightDecks. Launching their first B787-9 Dreamliner (dubbed “Birthday Girl”), Virgin Atlantic hosted a live audio streaming event of DJs Gorgon City and Rudimental 35,000 over the Atlantic Ocean en route from London to Atlanta.
Unfortunately, no one from @Altitude was able to be on the flight, but we were definitely monitoring the fun and listening to the live stream of music!