From early summer 2016, Lufthansa will be the first network airline in Europe to offer broadband on board its short and medium-haul flights, according to an announcement made recently.
“Lufthansa has always been a pioneer of Internet services on board its aircraft. Having equipped all planes in the Lufthansa intercontinental fleet with our successful FlyNet system, we are now continuing our success story by providing Internet on board our short and medium-haul flights”, Carsten Spohr, Chairman of the Executive Board of Deutsche Lufthansa AG, said.
The new service from Lufthansa and its technology partner Inmarsat is based on the most modern broadband satellite technology from Inmarsat’s Global Xpress network (Ka-band) and offers seamless, reliable coverage on short and medium-haul flights. Inmarsat recently successfully launched the third satellite in this global constellation and Lufthansa will be its first aviation customer.
The service will enable passengers to make the most of broadband Internet access on their own mobile devices via a wireless network. They will not only be able to use simple e-mail services, but also superior applications and even streaming.
On top of all this, passengers will also be able to use their mobile phones to send and receive text messages and for the transfer of data based on their own mobile phone contract. Telephone calls on board, however, will still not be allowed due to customer preference.
Lufthansa operated the world’s first scheduled flight with broadband Internet access in January 2003, but it had to be suspended in 2006 because the necessary satellites were no longer in operation. Since December 2010, Lufthansa has been offering broadband Internet access on its intercontinental flights. FlyNet has been available on all 106 long-haul aircraft in the Lufthansa fleet since the beginning of this year.