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June 26, 2012

Japanese Airlines to Offer On-Flight Wireless as Early as This Summer

By Monica Gleberman, Contributing Writer

All Nippon Airways (ANA) and Japan Airlines (JAL), two of the largest Japanese airlines, have announced that they will soon begin offering wireless services on their international routes for all passengers. The new wireless service will allow fliers to have access to the Internet via their computer, mobile phone, or other smart device.

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ANA said it will use Geneva-based OnAir as its service provider, and has plans to implement the new Wi-Fi in at least 28 of its international aircrafts. ANA plans to add Wi-Fi to all of its B777-300ER and B767-300ER fleets next summer, while JAL will be introducing it to customers this summer.

The project is estimated to cost the airline over $12 million. However, ANA feels it will make up the cost in customer satisfaction and retention. Tetsuo FUKUDA, senior vice president of CS & Products Services and Innovations, ANA, said he is excited to be offering this new service for passengers.

“ANA is delighted to announce the launch of OnAir (News - Alert) Wi-Fi on its international routes. The service will offer passengers a new in flight experience, giving them the flexibility and choice they deserve. We look forward to working with OnAir on this project. OnAir has a wealth of experience in handling large scale fleet programs and delivering end-to-end connectivity solutions for multiple aircrafts types,” said FUKUDA.

CEO of OnAir, Ian Dawkins, agreed saying adding wireless services to the flight helps keep ANA airline ahead of its competitors.

“ANA is a world-c lass airline, recognized for the high quality of its service. ANA’s decision to choose OnAir’s SBB-based Wi-Fi product demonstrates that the combination of OnAir and SBB is the best solution for passenger connectivity and cements OnAir’s position as the benchmark for global in flight connectivity solutions,” said Dawkins.

The wireless connectivity will be offered to customers in all cabins and will offer Internet speeds comparable to what is offered on the ground level. Beginning in July and lasting through to September, passengers flying on Japan Airlines will get to test out the service for free. After the trial period, all passengers will have to pay either $11.95 for the first hour or $21.96 for a 24-hour period. ANA has not released the pricing of its Wi-Fi services, but did say to expect features and speed. 

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Edited by Rachel Ramsey