Israeli carrier El Al has launched its new inflight wifi service, powered by Viasat.

Plans for the service were outlined at the unveiling of the carrier’s New Path initiative last year, and the inaugural flight fitted with the technology took place between Tel Aviv and Paris this week.

A total of 15 B787 and B737 aircraft now offer inflight wifi, with EL Al expecting to connect “the majority of its fleet” by 2020.

The carrier said that 128 devices were connected on the inaugural service, with more than half of passengers filming and streaming videos on services including Facebook Live.

The new service is being offered in three packages:

  • Basic – enabling passengers to use instant messaging applications and access emails. This package is free on international flights between Europe and North America, during an initial launch period until the fourth quarter of 2018
  • Social – allowing the streaming of short videos up to three minutes in length, and costing $9.99 per flight, with discounted rates for Matmid Frequent Flyers and Flycard holders
  • Business – allowing the streaming of movies and music, as well as VPN access, and costing £19.99 per flight, again with discounted rates for Matmid Frequent Flyers and Flycard holders

Commenting on the launch Nimrod Borovitz, director, strategy and business development at EL AL Israel Airlines:

“Israeli passengers want to keep up-to-date and connected in real-time even when in the air. We invested in the most advanced in-flight wifi product from Viasat so that we could best respond to our customers’ interests, from surfing sites, connecting to emails, using apps, viewing social-media networks, listening to music and streaming movies and live sports during flights. EL AL chose Viasat’s in-flight Wi-Fi system because they had the most advanced product.”