Air New Zealand to introduce inflight Wi-Fi
- October 7, 2016
Air New Zealand is the latest international airline to announce the launch of WiFi on board it’s aircrafts. The airline will launch services from the later part of 2017.
Chief Executive Officer Christopher Luxon today said that “Air New Zealand is in the final stages of commercial negotiations with Inmarsat and Panasonic Avionics with internet connectivity to be supplied by Inmarsat’s new global GX satellite constellation and integrated with Air New Zealand’s in-cabin Panasonic Avionics technology. Proving flights will begin in the second half of 2017 and world-class internet services progressively available on Tasman, Pacific Island and long haul jet fleets from the end of next year.“
Air New Zealand domestic services will get the service from 2018.
Mr. Luxon further added that “Given Air New Zealand operates some of the longest flights in the world, and in oceanic areas where there has historically been poor quality satellite service, we have patiently worked with partners until comfortable that a service which meets the high expectations of our customers is available. Our new system will also allow us to enhance real time features within our state of the art Inflight Entertainment System as well as providing our flight crew with an enhanced ability to manage customer requests related to their ground travel.”
Air New Zealand’s Chief Revenue Officer told Australian Business Traveller, that the airline is looking at “Three to four core options on pricing. In keeping with the airline’s unbundling approach and ‘seats to suit’ strategy you could have it as part of the fare type. You also have business class passengers who are paying a significant amount of money, and so could be part of the fare. Or we could have a generic fee based on time or bandwidth, or a ‘membership’ model as part of Airpoints for example. As for the potential to make the Internet free for all passengers, “we want to unpack what ‘free’ really means.”
Traveller loyalty lies with Wi-Fi
The Honeywell Aerospace Connectivity 2016 Survey suggests onboard Wi-Fi will be key to traveller loyalty. With the rise in handheld and personal electronic devices, consumers expect reliable connectivity anywhere, including while in flight. 60% of travellers surveyed said they would most likely feel disappointed or frustrated if they got on a plane that did not have in-flight Wi-Fi. Even more, 84 percent of travellers, say it is important to have an experience identical to what they have at home or in the office. Most travellers find it essential to experience a reliable connection throughout their entire flight anywhere in the world, and one that is fast enough to stream audio or video from sites such as YouTube and Netflix.
Carl Esposito, Vice President, Marketing and Product Management, Honeywell Aerospace said, “Passengers are serious about getting the best in-flight Wi-Fi experience possible. To avoid losing passengers and revenue, airlines need a connectivity service that is reliable all the time, no matter where they fly, travellers do not need to wait any longer for this experience; it is available now. Honeywell has worked with Inmarsat to offer the world’s first global, fast service — GX Aviation — to give passengers reliable in-flight Wi-Fi, anywhere they fly.”