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Air New Zealand has announced plans to add in-flight wifi connectivity to its aircraft from next year.
Flights between Australia and New Zealand will be the first to see the service from the second half of 2017, with wifi becoming “progressively available on Tasman, Pacific Island and long-haul jet fleets from the end of next year”, and domestic services from 2018.
The technology will be supplied by Inmarsat’s new global GX satellite constellation, and integrated with ANZ’s Panasonic Avionics system.
Announcing the service CEO Christopher Luxon said:
“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.
“Proving flights on a partner company test aircraft have now given us the confidence to introduce what we believe will be the world’s most reliable in-flight connectivity. Customers will be able to use their social media channels, stay on top of emails and browse the internet.
“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.”
Pricing for the service has not yet been released, but ANZ expects to publish details in the first half of next year.