Wi-Fi and mobile services arrive on Aer Lingus long-haul flights

7 Oct 2013

Wi-Fi access and mobile services today arrived on Aer Lingus transatlantic flights using A330 aircraft.

Aer Lingus’ long-haul fleet, comprising seven Airbus A330 aircraft, have been fitted with satellite technology enabling high-speed in-cabin internet access and GSM services, including SMS and mobile data.

The new Wi-Fi services, provided by Panasonic Avionics Corporation, Aeromobile and Deutsche Telekom, are available to customers travelling between Ireland and the US.

The move follows the news that from next year Aer Lingus will re-instate flights to San Francisco, California, a move no doubt welcomed by the start-up and multinational tech community in Ireland.

Passengers can connect to the Aer Lingus Wi-Fi network using their own laptops, tablets and smartphones and will be able to browse the web, send and receive email, download content and use social networks.

Aer Lingus is third European airline to launch Wi-Fi on transatlantic flights

Passengers will not, however, be able to use their mobile devices to make phone calls.

The latter decision was based on research whereby passengers would prefer a call-free cabin.

“Aer Lingus is at the forefront of in-flight connectivity,” said Aer Lingus’ chief commercial officer Stephen Kavanagh.

“We are the third European airline to introduce internet access on transatlantic flights. Our aim is to enhance our customers’ Aer Lingus experience – this is yet another choice that we’re offering to achieve that.  

“Having direct internet access on long-haul flights to cities such as New York, Boston, Chicago and San Francisco, will be of huge benefit to our customers, in particular to business customers. Feedback from trials has been extremely positive,” Kavanagh said.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years