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2014: An In-Flight Connectivity Year in Review

By: @Altitude_Alex

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.

51This 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!

 

Connected-Airlines-2014

 

14 That’s the number of new airlines that began offering some type of in-flight connectivity (Wi-Fi, mobile services, or live television) to passengers in 2014.

 

 

 

 

 

 

* 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.

 

10Airlines announced plans to offer connectivity but have yet to launch service. Connectivity service is anticipated to be available for passengers on these airlines in 2015.

 

 

World Cup In-flight

 

 

 

 

40000Estimated 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.

 

787The 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:

8550 BlockUnited’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.

 

Year in Review - FlightDecksAnd 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!

It’s been a fun year for the @Altitude community to watch the growth in availability of on board Wi-Fi and mobile services. There will be a lot more growth coming in the months ahead. We can’t wait to see what creative and exciting ways airlines and passengers come up with to use in-flight connectivity in 2015.

@ LogoWant to share your experience using in-flight mobile services or Wi-Fi in 2014? Please add it in the comments section below. And if you’re on a connected flight be sure visit us on Twitter or Facebook to share the experience with the @Altitude community.