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!
2015 In-Flight Connectivity Year in Review
Each year brings exciting developments to the world of in-flight connectivity and 2015 was no different. As part of our ongoing mission to keep you updated on the availability of in-flight Wi-Fi, mobile services, and live television, we thought you’d appreciate a recap of what happened in 2015.
Did you know that, as of the end of 2015, there are 60 airlines around the world which offer 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.
Eleven new airlines began offering some type of in-flight connectivity (Wi-Fi, mobile services, or live television) to passengers in 2015.
China, in particular, saw huge growth for in-flight Wi-Fi during 2015. In Q2 China Eastern Airlines became the first Chinese carrier to receive approval to provide Wi-Fi on both international and domestic flights. Their international service launched in mid-November. Keep a close eye on China as we expect to see a lot more growth during 2016!
There are a number of web sites which can help you in choosing a flight which will offer connectivity. In March of 2015 we were delighted to see the announcement that Google would be integrating Routehappy’s amenity data into Google Flights search results. In doing so, if you’re using Google Flights to plan your next trip you’ll be able to compare available amenities such as Wi-Fi and in-seat power.
If you’re a sports enthusiast then you were happy to see increases in both the number of airlines offering live sports as well as the types of events they’re broadcasting. Among the new entrants to airlines offering this service are Air Seychelles, Alitalia, Norwegian, and ANA. And what sporting events were passengers able to watch in flight? The variety of live sports available onboard included the Rugby World Cup, the NFL Super Bowl, FIFA Women’s World Cup, NBA, and the T20 Big Bash League.
Of course here at @Altitude we’re always looking for fun ways airlines and passengers are using their in-flight Wi-Fi. You’d be surprised by some the selfies people are tweeting! Here are a couple of our favorites from last year:
- In December, during the week before Christmas, Virgin Atlantic partnered with Microsoft to create “the world’s first connected gaming experience at 35,000ft” using in-flight Wi-Fi. Passengers on two flights used the Wi-Fi to participate in the #thankyoudeer experience, helping Santa Clause track down his missing reindeer in time for Christmas.
- It wasn’t a strictly in-flight connectivity event, but on September 17th we saw lots of in-flight social media post by passengers onboard and Aer Lingus flight from Dublin to New York. Those lucky passengers – and tweeted about! – a live performance by the Irish rock band Kodaline. It was fun to see passengers sharing the experience real-time from over the Atlantic!
And we can’t forget to thank our community on social media! In 2015 we saw almost 100% growth on Facebook. It’s great to know that so many people around the world are interested to learn about and use in-flight connectivity during their travels.
2015 was a great year for in-flight connectivity and we can wait to see what happens in 2016!
Enjoy the journey.
Want to share your experience using in-flight mobile services or Wi-Fi? Please add it below in the comments section. And if you’re on a connected flight be sure visit us on Twitter or Facebook to share the experience with the @Altitude community.
Sport 24 Coverage Schedule: July 16th – 20th
Looking for in-flight entertainment options? If you’re flying on an airline offering Sport 24, you can enjoy coverage of The Open, NRL, and Premier League Asia Trophy!
The big moments head:
Canberra Raiders vs. Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks
Newcastle Knights vs. Gold Coast Titans
Sydney Roosters vs. New Zealand Warriors (more…)
Sport 24 Coverage Schedule: June 12th – 17th
Flying this week? Get your fill of the Euro 2016 Qualifier and National Rugby League Live and As Live on Sport 24.
The Big Moments Ahead:
Euro 2016 Qualifier:
Kazakhstan vs. Turkey
Croatia vs. Italy
Latvia vs. Holland
Wales vs. Belgium
Republic of Ireland vs. Scotland
Gibraltar vs. Germany
Slovenia vs. England
Belarus vs. Spain
National Rugby League – NRL: (more…)
Sport 24 Coverage Schedule: April 2 – 7
Two top 5 Premier League teams go head-to-head in this week’s line-up as Arsenal faces off against Liverpool. If you’re flying this weekend be sure to cheer on your team from 35,000ft with Sport 24.
The Big Moments Ahead:
Arsenal vs. Liverpool
Manchester United vs. Aston Villa
Burnley vs. Tottenham Hotspur
Sunderland vs. Newcastle United
Crystal Palace vs. Manchester City
Aston Villa vs. Queens Park Rangers
Sport 24 Coverage Schedule: March 26 – 31
It’s a jam-packed sports line-up for passengers traveling this week on airlines offering Sport 24! Check out the big moments ahead:
Euro 2016 Qualifiers
England vs. Lithuania
Spain vs. Ukraine
Holland vs. Turkey
Israel vs. Wales
Georgia vs. Germany
Portugal vs. Serbia
Israel vs. Belgium
Formula 1 Malaysia GP
Sport 24 Coverage Schedule: March 19 – 25
Traveling on a Sport 24 connected aircraft this weekend? Sport 24 has LIVE coverage of the Premier League, ATP Tennis Masters 1000 Series, National Rugby League (NRL), and Bundesliga. Check out this weekend’s schedule of the big moments in sports:
Manchester City vs. West Bromwich Albion
Newcastle United vs. Arsenal
West Ham United vs. Sunderland
Liverpool vs. Manchester United
Hull City vs. Chelsea
ATP Tennis Masters 1000 Series
Quarter Finals (Indian Wells)
Semi Finals (Indian Wells)
Final (Indian Wells)
1st Round (Miami) (more…)
Sport 24 Coverage Schedule: March 5 – 8
Coming this week to airline passengers around the world, the National Rugby League! The NRL is Sport 24‘s newest LIVE event offering.
The NRL is Australia’s top-level professional domestic rugby league club competition. Matches are played in both Australia and New Zealand from March through to the Grand Final in October, which is traditionally one of Australia’s most popular sporting events.
The reigning champions South Sydney Rabbitohs will return to defend their title against the likes of other teams such as the Brisbane Broncos, Eastern Suburbs, Newcastle Knights, New Zealand Warriors, North Queensland Cowboys & Sydney Roosters.
A tournament that highlights exceptional rugby talent for fans around the world to enjoy – LIVE on Sport 24. (more…)
Sport 24 Coverage Schedule: Feb 26 – March 4
Another fantastic week of sporting events ahead. From Euroleague Basketball, to Bundesliga and Premier League, airline passengers can enjoy non-stop action from takeoff to landing with Sport 24.
List of events passengers can enjoy:
Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv vs. Panathinaikos Athens
Real Madrid vs. Belgrade
CSKA Moscow vs. Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul
FC Bayern Munich vs. FC Koln
Eintracht Frankfurt vs. Hamburger SV
Borussia Dortmund vs. FC Schalke 04
Borussia Monchengladbach vs. SC Paderborn 07
SV Werder Bremen vs. VfL Wolfsburg
West Ham United vs. Crystal Palace
Manchester United vs. Sunderland
Liverpool vs. Manchester City
Arsenal vs. Everton
Aston Villa vs. West Bromwich Albion
West Ham United vs. Chelsea
Always in the moment
Sport 24 Coverage Schedule: Feb. 20 – 22nd
Sport 24 brings the best sporting events, from all over the world, right to passengers’ seat backs as they fly. No matter what time of day, you can rely on Sport 24 to bring you LIVE and AS LIVE sports coverage 24/7.
VfB Stuttgart vs. Borussia Dortmund
SC Freiburg vs. FC Bayern Munich
Hamburger SV vs. Borussia Monchengladbach
Crystal Palace vs. Arsenal
Manchester City vs. Newcastle United
Tottenham Hotspurs vs. West Ham United
Everton vs. Leicester (more…)
Connect. Communicate. Discover.
Connect to Your World
Continue on with your connected life in-flight using your laptop or mobile device.
Communicate the Way You Want
Chat, post, email, text, tweet, call
or conference right from your
seat — at 30,000 feet.
Discover the Possibilities
Enjoy an in-flight experience where the things you live for come to life.