Scandinavian Airlines is to launch free in-flight internet for Economy Extra and business class passengers, with the service being available on a paid-for basis for economy travellers.
The carrier plans to offer both internet and mobile services onboard European and intercontinental routes, with a launch date set for April next year.
The airline’s Boeing 737s will be the first aircraft to have in-flight connectivity installed, with the service initially being offered on nine aircraft serving Norwegian domestic routes, and from Oslo and Stockholm to London, Frankfurt and Paris.
It is not clear which of the service providers SAS will be using (Aeromobile, Aircell and OnAir being the three main players), with the carrier saying it is “currently negotiating with a number of service providers and aim to offer our premium customers free internet onboard our flights”.
Robin Kamark, Chief Commercial Officer, SAS, added that the system will allow it “to customize a suite of wifi services for our customers – from movies and other entertainment for our leisure travellers to communication tools for our business travellers”.
Oman Air was the first carrier to offer both mobile voice calls and broadband internet when it launched the service on its fleet of A330s earlier this year (see online news May 4).
Lufthansa also plans to reintroduce in-flight internet access next year, having previously used the now defunct Connexion by Boeing service, and other carriers including American Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Delta, Egyptair, Emirates and Singapore Airlines have all either launched or are planning similar services.
For a closer look at the future of in-flight connectivity, see Stay Connected in the November 2010 issue of Business Traveller.
In other news SAS recorded punctuality figures of 93 per cent in September, according to statistics from FlightStats Analytics. The carrier’s punctuality record has been consistently over 90 per cent since May 2010.
SAS is also currently offering a 10 per cent discount on Economy Extra fares for passengers who book and travel before November 30. For more information visit flysas.com.
Report by Mark Caswell