Air France has announced it will trial in-flight wifi on selected short and medium-haul services next summer.
The carrier will partner with telecommunications provider Orange to equip two Airbus A320 aircraft with the technology during a three month trial next summer.
Air France says the servicer will be available “for a small fee”, the exact details of which it says will be announced by Orange in 2015.
The airline says passengers will be able to use laptops, tablets or smartphones, to connect via wifi either to the internet, or to “a portal offering a wide choice of entertainment including live TV, movies, series, and music, as well as practical information making their journey even more enjoyable, such as connecting flight times and services available at the destination”.
Streaming in-flight entertainment directly to passengers’ personal devices is a growing trend, relieving airlines of the cost of installing (and maintaining) individual seatback TV screens – last month Lufthansa launched similar technology on 20 of its Airbus A321 aircraft (more details on our sister website seatplans.com).
Air France’s chairman and CEO Frederic Gagey said that “Being permanently connected has become an integral part of many of our customer’s daily lives, notably for business travellers on our short and medium-haul flights”, adding that the carrier hoped to “remain at the cutting edge of developments in digital technology”.