British Airways has chosen Gogo to provide high speed inflight connectivity on longhaul flights.

IAG will be the first European airline group to use Gogo’s latest technology.

Virgin Atlantic has also chosen the technology, but has not yet announced when the first of its aircraft will be flying with it onboard.

Delta has also chosen the technology (see piece here)

The news comes as no surprise. BA trialled long-haul wifi on a B747-400 for over 12 months during 2014 and into 2015 (see news, November 2013).

Those trials however were with the Panasonic Global Communications Suite “to provide a range of entertainment to customers’ personal electronic devices under the name High Life Connect” and operated on a range of different routes “to test how the system performs and identify usage levels to and from a range of destinations”.

Since the Panasonic trial ended earlier this year only BA’s London City service to New York has offered onboard connectivity.

The new service is using different technology and a different provider, however.

The new technology is from Gogo and is called “2Ku”. In total 118 British Airways, four Aer Lingus B757s and up to 15 Iberia longhaul aircraft will be fitted with 2Ku. This is in addition to the existing Iberia and Aer Lingus A330 fleets which have Panasonic GCS connectivity.

The first longhaul aircraft equipped with the inflight connectivity will be a B747-400 sometime early 2017. Iberia and Aer Lingus will see their first A330-300 and B757 aircraft fitted with 2KU later in 2017.

GoGo 2KU

The 2Ku technology which is installed on top of the aircraft (it has a cover across the top of it when operational)

Here is the full interview with CEO Willie Walsh

The highlights are that no decision has been made on pricing, including whether there are different price levels for different level of tiers in the BA Executive Club programme (and other FFPs), and whether it will be offered for free in premium cabins.

IAG says that the service provides fast wifi allowing customers to stream videos from suppliers such as Netflix and Amazon, and also use multiple devices at the same time and with connection speeds, aas well as bandwidth, similar to what they have at home.

Breakdown for each airline/type of longhaul aircraft:


Aircraft Type

Number of Aircraft

British Airways

Boeing 747-400


British Airways

Boeing 777-200


British Airways

Boeing 777-300


British Airways

Boeing 787-8


British Airways

Boeing 787-8/9


British Airways

Airbus A380-800



Airbus A340-600



Airbus A330-300


Aer Lingus

Boeing 757-200




(*) subject to final confirmation

As far as short-haul wifi connectivity is concerned, BA is planning Europe’s first inflight 4G broadband service (see news, April 23), while the previous June it announced it was in “advanced discussions” with UK satellite firm Inmarsat to introduce high-speed inflight internet (see news, June 2014).

Last month, Willie Walsh, the chief executive of IAG and former CEO of BA, was quoted by Reuters as saying: “We think the technology platforms are well established now and can facilitate our requirement which is for global coverage. So watch this space is what I would say.”

Subscribers can click here to read our September 2015 feature on the new connectivity options onboard airlines worldwide.

Tom Otley