Delta has outlined enhancements to its inflight wifi provision from later this year, which it says will offer faster speeds and “the ability to stream the entertainment of your choice on your flight”.
A new partnership with Viasat will see the group’s next-generation Ka-Band satellite technology being gradually added to Delta’s fleet, which it says will bring fast wifi, a new user interface and personalised content.
Glenn Latta, managing director – inflight entertainment and wifi, said that the new technology “changes the game for what we can offer”.
“We now have additional capability and next-gen technology to make sure you have a faster and more consistent connection to your favourite sites, including the ability to stream the entertainment of your choice on your flight,” said Latta. “It also lays the groundwork for future enhancements and personalisation with the seatback screen that customers will love.”
As part of the enhancements, Delta has developed a new wifi access portal, which will act as a front page to the customer wifi experience, integrating inflight wifi with “other day-of-travel features”.
The inflight wifi connectivity will be chargeable, although mobile messaging will remain free, and Ekrem Dimbiloglu, director of brand experience – inflight entertainment and wifi, said that Delta is “committed to delivering free wifi in the future, and this is a significant step on that journey”.
“Our free wifi pilot in spring 2019 gave us valuable insights to better understand the challenges to providing a service that meets our standard – and having the right equipment was a key part of that,” said Dimbiloglu . “As Ed said at CES, delivering free wifi that is high-quality and streaming capable requires thorough testing to ensure our technology can handle the demand.”
The new portal and wifi experience will initially roll out on newly delivered A321 ceo aircraft (with some exceptions which will operate on selected short-haul routes) and B737-900ERs, as well as selected 757-200s, totalling over 300 mainline narrow body aircraft.
Delta will continue to work with established wifi supplier Gogo, and Latta said that “Working with multiple partners means we can pair the right technology with the right fleet”.