BA close to deal for in-flight broadband

6 Jun 2014 by GrahamSmith

British Airways passengers on European flights could soon have access to broadband in the sky.

The airline is in "advanced discussions" with UK satellite firm Inmarsat to introduce high-speed inflight internet.

The service is expected to be launched on domestic UK routes by the end of 2016 before being rolled out across Eureope.

Kate Thornton, BA's head of product and service, said: "British Airways is in discussions with Inmarsat about leading Europe in a new era of broadband in the air.

"Starting with UK domestic routes Inmarsat intends to deploy Europe's first ground-based 4G broadband network giving our customers the internet access they expect on the ground while in the air."

The technology works by linking aircraft to the internet via mobile phone towers on the ground.

It is not known how much the service will cost, but a similar set-up in the US called Gogo costs $5 per hour of $17 for 24 hours.

As well as BA, Inmarsat said a "number of European airlines are aligned" with its plans for inflight broadband access.

British Airways is currently running a connectivity trial on one of its Boeing 747 aircraft over the course of 2014 (see news, November 2013).

Since December, the carrier has permitted passengers to use personal electronic devices during all phases of their flight (see news, December 2013).,

Graham Smith

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