Q3 Review: Global Inflight Connectivity
Compared to the first half of 2016, the third quarter saw a slowing of airlines launching new connectivity service, however we are happy to report that airlines already offering inflight connectivity continued to expand their routes as well as types of services available onboard.
It was exciting for us to see the number of airlines which offered live sports in-flight so their passengers could enjoy the Rio Olympics. The tweets posted while onboard were great!
New Launches: No new launches to report for Q3; so we’re still tracking the number of airlines around the world offering connectivity services at 64. We are, however, hoping for some new airlines to launch service in Q4 and will provide updates to our list as they happen.
- On July 13th, United Airlines launched their San Francisco (SFO) to Hangzhou (HGH) route on one of the world’s most advanced passenger aircraft, the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. This 13 hour flight offers inflight Wi-Fi.
- Alitalia returned to China on July 18th with the re-launch of their Rome (FCO) to Beijing (PEK) route. Passengers can use Wi-Fi connectivity for phone calls, internet, e-mail, and more.
- Singapore Airlines added Johannesburg and Düsseldorf to their A350 offering on June 27th and July 21st. Wi-Fi and mobile phone services are available on board.
- Cathay Pacific Airways became the only airline to offer non-stop flights between London Gatwick Airport and Hong Kong. The A350-900 offers live TV and Wi-Fi on board.
- On September 1st, Aer Lingus launched their Dublin (DUB) to Newark (EWR) A330 route.
- Three airlines expanded their inflight entertainment offerings by adding live television service.
- AeroMexico re-launched live TV on their Boeing 787s. Channels include Sport 24 and CNN International.
- Virgin Atlantic also added live TV on their 787s. Passengers can enjoy Sport 24, BBC News, and CNN International.
- WestJet added Sport 24 and Sport 24 Extra to their already existing live TV service.
- Thai Airways welcomed their first Airbus A350 XWB in Bangkok in late August. In Mid-October, the A350 will begin its international service flying BKK > MEL with Wi-Fi available onboard.
- Hockey fans were excited to learn that live TV channel Sport 24 added the World Cup of Hockey and NHL to their coverage.
- iPass customers will be happy to learn that they have partnered with United Airlines to allow you Wi-Fi access using your account. This is schedule to start in Q4 of this year and expand to United’s fleet of more the 700 aircraft.
As we start the last quarter of 2016 we’ll continue to track the exciting expansion of the availability for passengers to stay connected in-flight as they travel around the world. Be sure to check back frequently, we’ll keep you updated on all the news for global inflight connectivity!
Finally, thanks to our online community of supporters, early in Q3 we reached the milestone of 300,000 Facebook likes. We couldn’t do it without you!
Q2 Review: Global Inflight Connectivity
Inflight connectivity around the world is growing at an increasingly fast pace. Exciting developments and expansions have already taken place this year! As part of our ongoing mission to keep you updated on the availability of inflight Wi-Fi, mobile services, and live television, we thought you’d appreciate a recap of what has happened so far in 2016.
Did you know that, as of June 30th, there are 64 airlines around the world offering passengers some type of onboard connectivity? If you’d like to see a list of these airlines it’s available – and frequently updated – on our website.
The second quarter saw several big announcements from airlines about their connectivity offerings. Here are some of the highlights:
- On June 1st, Cathay Pacific began offering inflight Wi-Fi and live TV on board their Airbus 350 aircraft. Live TV channels include: BBC, CNN, and Euronews.
- Hainan Airlines launched inflight Wi-Fi service on board their Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. Service began June 13th.
- Aer Lingus became the first airline to offer inflight connectivity (including Wi-Fi and GSM) on a direct flight from Dublin (DUB) > Los Angeles (LAX). The new service began on May 4th.
- Also on May 4th, KLM added Amsterdam (AMS) > San Francisco (SFO) to their list of Boeing 787 destinations (the airline’s first 787 – U.S. destination). Passengers can enjoy inflight Wi-Fi on this 11 hour flight!
- United Airlines launched the only non-stop flight from the United States (SFO) to Singapore (SIN) on June 1st. That’s almost 16 hours of inflight connectivity!
- On June 23rd, Air Serbia began offering the first non-stop flight between Serbia and the United States in the past 24 years! This A330 aircraft will be flying from Belgrade (BEG) > New York City (JFK). Air Serbia offers their passengers inflight Wi-Fi and mobile services on board.
- Sport 24, the live sports channel for the airline industry, launched their second channel Sport 24 Extra on June 1st. The second sports channel allows passengers to watch two sporting events at the same time! The launch of Sport 24 Extra came just in time for passengers to enjoy all of the Euro 2016 action.
- Inflight Wi-Fi isn’t just for entertainment, but can also help in special situations. On May 25th, China Eastern Airlines used their inflight Wi-Fi service to help a passenger needing medical assistance. The crew was able to stay connected to her doctor on the ground during the flight using Wi-Fi.
- On June 13th, Air Europa helped Hawkers Co. launch a new line of sunglasses from the sky! Hawkers Co. was able to use Air Europa’s inflight Wi-Fi service to live tweet the event.
With more airline launches and improved technology coming this year, passengers can look forward to an even greater inflight experience. Be sure to check back frequently, we’ll keep you updated on all the news for global inflight connectivity!
On a side note, we’ve reached a new milestone on Twitter: 30,000 followers!
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