It’s taken a long time, but it seems IAG Group (including British Airways) are finally going to press ahead and install WiFi on their planes, provisioned by Gogo.
This will be first customer that Gogo has snagged in Europe for the 2KU product.
Gogo will be supplying IAG with 2KU to be installed aboard:
- British Airways (118 aircraft)
- Aer Lingus (4 x Boeing 757s)
- Iberia (15 x long haul aircraft)
Note, that IAG short-haul products (British Airways, Iberia, Vueling or Aer Lingus) have not been earmarked for 2KU installation (or any other in-air WiFi product bar a few test planes).
Aer Lingus and Iberia operate A330 fleets with Panasonic GCS installed (the Iberia product is provisioned by OnAir – a product I had a brief look at).
I’ve written about Gogo’s 2KU technology before – with it launching with Aeromexico, and recently Delta taking on an order to equip 600 mainline planes with 2KU.
Installation plans call for the first aircraft – a British Airways Boeing 747-400 – to have a plane installed with 2KU in early 2017. Aer Lingus and Iberia will have 2KU fitted aboard their 757s (Aer Lingus) and A330-300 (Iberia) later in 2017.
The breakdown of the installs looks like this:
British Airways Boeing 747-400 18 British Airways Boeing 777-200 46 British Airways Boeing 777-300 12 British Airways Boeing 787-8 8 British Airways Boeing 787-8/9 22 British Airways Airbus A380-800 12 Iberia Airbus A340-600 7 Iberia Airbus A330-300 8 Aer Lingus Boeing 757-200 4 TOTAL 137 Data: IAG A340 installation is subject to confirmation.
Willie Walsh of IAG seems happy, stating:
“This state of the art technology will provide greater bandwidth, faster speed and broader coverage to our airlines’ customers. Global connectivity is something they demand and we are providing high-quality connections with innovative technology solutions to improve the travel experience”
It has been a long road for IAG to choose a solution for their fleet – and it shows with competitors installing in-flight internet access products on their planes.
With other providers taking their time (be it launching satellites, building networks or otehrwise) – Gogo has stolen the march and are delivering products to customers.
IAG group is aiming to have 90% of their longhaul fleet with high speed connectivity – and for a lot of travellers – it can’t come soon enough.
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