Service available on almost entire intercontinental network by end of 2011.
Lufthansa passengers on long-haul flights are continuing to use online communications while onboard. But soon they will be the first to benefit from broadband Internet access on intercontinental routes. The service, which will initially be provided on selected North Atlantic routes, will be available on “nearly the entire” Lufthansa intercontinental network by the end of 2011.
The fast inflight Internet service gives passengers with a WLAN-enabled laptop or smartphone unlimited online access. This means that, thanks to the high bandwidth, emails with or without large file attachments can be sent and received without any time delay, either onboard or while waiting for connecting flights. Business travellers can also access their companies’ virtual private networks.
The German airline is providing the service together with its long-standing partners Panasonic Avionics Corporation and Deutsche Telekom. In spring 2011, inflight data communication should also be possible using the mobile phone standards GSM and GPRS. In addition to the wireless Internet service, passengers will then be able to use their mobile phones to send and receive text messages and transfer data with smart phones such as the iPhone or PDAs such as BlackBerry.
Lufthansa operated the world’s first scheduled flight with broadband Internet access in January 2003. From May 2004 until the end of 2006, when Lufthansa’s then-partner Connexion by Boeing discontinued the service, wireless broadband Internet enjoyed increasing popularity. By the end of 2006, 69 of Lufthansa’s long-range aircraft were equipped with FlyNet, making the fleet the biggest Internet-enabled long-haul fleet in the world, with about 30,000 users per month.