Wi-Fi Coming To British Airways Short-Haul Flights!

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I’m not sure how I missed this story until now, but the BBC reported last week that British Airways will soon be adding next generation 4G Wi-Fi to their short-haul offering. The plan is to get started next year and eventually equip 132 aircraft by 2019, which is more or less the entire short-haul fleet.

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British Airways’ IAG stablemates, Vueling, Iberia and Aer Lingus are also set to be kitted out, with up to 90% of IAG short-haul flights offering internet by the end of 2019.

The technology is provided by Inmarsat, who seem to think they’ve cracked the reliability issues that currently plague in-flight internet providers – at least according to Inmarsat President Leo Mondale:

 “The European Aviation Network is a game changer for the millions of airline passengers that have been cut-off from fast, reliable and consistent broadband access during flights in Europe. It will provide IAG airlines with unprecedented high-speed capacity by combining the strengths of Inmarsat’s satellite connectivity with a powerful ground network operated by our partner Deutsche Telekom. We look forward to working with Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia and Vueling on the rollout”.

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BA had, of course, already announced that Wi-Fi will be introduced on long haul flights from next year.

Bottom line

I know some people like ‘switching off’ when flying, but reliable internet at a reasonable speed is something I would personally really like to more airlines adopt. Given the cutbacks at BA these days though, I imagine that complimentary access would be far too much to hope for!

What do you reckon? – a positive change, or would you rather devices stayed disconnected?

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