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Improving systems mean customers will demand better connections in-flight.

New York (USAsian Network Business & Industry News) Mon, Apr 14, 2014 - The improving systems mean customers will demand better connections in-flight. Some frequent fliers with status on several airlines say they choose flights based on Wi-Fi availability. But the variety of systems poses tough decisions for airlines, which risk choosing a technology that could become outdated. Ingram, the CFO of Hawaiian Airlines, said the choice and cost of a system is especially important for his fleet since it mostly carries people on vacation - people who don't want to be tethered to the office. "The technology in the Wi-Fi space for trans-Pacific flying is still evolving," he said, "so we haven't made any final decisions yet." Lufthansa knows the perils. It originally worked with Connexion, a Boeing unit developing in-flight Wi-Fi that operated a decade ago but failed to attract enough customers. "We were a little bit unfortunate," chief executive Christoph Franz said. "We had spent millions to equip our aircraft." Lufthansa has since outfitted more than 90 percent of its long-haul planes with satellite connectivity. But it is taking a step-by-step approach for other planes, outfitting about 30 Airbus A321s with a system that can stream content from an onboard server to handheld devices, but doesn't connect to the internet. "We need a decent provider for that, but we didn't want our customers to wait," Franz said. He expects a "triple-digit-million" euro investment to outfit the full fleet. "We are ready to do this," he said. "But we have to look at the bill. We will see which system at the end of the day turns out to be the most affordable and the fastest."


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Publication:USAsian Network News & Business & Industry News
Date:Apr 21, 2014
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