Nearly 40 per cent of all flights worldwide either already offer wifi service or soon will, according to Routehappy’s 2017 wifireport.
“The industry has made great strides since last year’s report, with more aircraft connected than ever before, including 11 airlines that now offer in-flight wifi for the first time,” according to the report, which said aircraft wifi access is up 8 per cent globally since 2016.
In the US, 83 per cent of flights now offer wifi access, the report said.
The report found a “dramatic shift away” from basic wifi access to faster systems on aircraft, a response to customer needs. Currently, 7.2 per cent of flights offer top-tier wifi access (with speeds capable of streaming video), up 1.2 per cent from 2016.
An additional 61 per cent offer “better” wifi (full web browsing with limited streaming capability), while a minority of flights (31.9 per cent) still have basic, low-speed wifi.
The proportion of flights with basic wifi fell 9.1 per cent between 2016 and 2017, while those providing better wifi rose 7.9 per cent.
JetBlue led the way among US carriers offering the best wifi, while some United aircraft also are equipped with high-speed internet access. Worldwide, Delta, United, American, Emirates, and Southwest had the greatest percentage of their flights equipped with wifi (as calculated by airline seat miles, or ASMs).