Intense demand for wi-fi internet systems on planes

Tech firm aims to double rate of aircraft wi-fi installations
Tech companies installing wi-fi internet systems on aircraft say they are struggling to keep up with the high demand. Panasonic Avionics says it will need to double the installation rate if it is to catch up with demand from airlines and passengers, Reuters reports.
Airlines benefit from wi-fi not only to satisfy customers but also to boost advertising contracts as companies try to tap this captive audience. So far, most systems have been fitted to long-haul fleets, but now airlines want it for shorter flights too.
Panasonic Avionics has installed 46% share of Wi-Fi systems on planes since 2009, ahead of rivals such as OnAir, Gogo and Global Eagle.
“We installed 488 systems on aircraft last year, but the rate needs to double to 1,000 a year to catch up with demand,” commented Neil James, Panasonic Avionics’ executive director for sales and marketing. He predicts that 12,000 narrow-body planes will be equipped with wi-fi in the next 10 years.
[photo courtesy Air France]

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