According to many airlines, in-flight WiFi provision gives them a ‘competitive advantage’ in the commercial aviation industry.
As the competition grows fiercer, it seems that in-flight wi-fi will become less of an advantage and more of a normality according to a report by ‘routehappy.com,’ a site that ranks airlines. Their report says that currently 38% of US flights offer internet connectivity and long haul or the most popular routes, such as non-connecting California-New York are offering in-flight WiFi.
Although it is still a small percentage of flights overall, it shows that, as passenger demands for in-flight WiFi grows, the more likely that it will become standard practice and airlines will be looking to offer faster, better and cheaper in-flight WiFi to remain competitive.
The debate grows after the FAA’s announcement last week that it will be lightening up about the use of electronic devices on-board, allowing passengers on certain flights to carry on using their Smartphones instead of the insistence of powering down before take off.
Most airlines provide ‘GoGo’ for in-flight WiFi, but with dramatic price fluctuations and intermittent signal, the marketplace is broadening and the opening into business aviation for passengers wishing to work in the sky and on the move means that a push into the Ku-band for international connectivity is the way forward.
Aircraft in-flight Wifi provider, ARINC, already offer truly global connectivity with their Inmarsat/iridium satellite network connectivity and are leaders in the business of aviation communications.
Gogo expects that in-flight wifi for business travellers will become a required expense and not an optional one and are experimenting on new pricing models as it is still early days for in-flight wifi connectivity.
Only time will tell…