Delta Air Lines customers traveling throughout the continental United States will soon be offered broadband Wi-Fi access onboard the airline’s domestic fleet of more than 330 mainline aircraft.
Delta is joining with Aircell, a company with 17 year experienc in airborne communications for business and commercial aviation, to install the Mobile Broadband Network on the carrier’s domestic fleet.
The system, Gogo, will enable Delta customers traveling with Wi-Fi enabled devices, such as laptops, smartphones and PDAs, to access the Internet, corporate VPNs, corporate and personal e-mail accounts, as well as SMS texting and instant messaging services.
Gogo will be available to customers for a flat fee of US$9.95 on flights of three hours or less, and US$12.95 on flights of more than three hours.
“Delta remains committed to providing a travel experience that maximizes the time our customers spend with us onboard by offering them even more productivity options,” said Richard Anderson, Delta’s chief executive officer. ”Our customers asked for in-flight connectivity, and we’re responding by rolling out the most extensive Wi-Fi network in the sky. Beginning this fall, our passengers will have the ability to stay connected when they travel with us throughout the continental U.S.”
Gogo will be offered initially on Delta’s fleet of 133 MD88/90 aircraft and will rapidly expand to the remaining domestic fleet of more than 200 Boeing 737, 757 (pictured) and 767-300 aircraft throughout the first half of 2009. The airline expects to have more than 330 aircraft complete by summer 2009.
“The advent of Air-To-Ground (ATG) technology has made broadband connectivity in the cabin economically viable for the first time for commercial airlines,” said Jack Blumenstein, President and CEO, Aircell. “The game has changed and Delta will be among the first to provide an enhanced customer experience with broadband Wi-Fi access on more than 1,000 daily flights within the U.S.”
The Aircell system is extremely light, requires minimal space on the aircraft and is installed overnight.