Surfing the web at 10,000 feet above sea level, will soon be a dream for thousands of passengers of Air France and KLM. Today Air France and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines testing their inflight WiFi access on intercontinental flights. In partnership with Panasonic Avionics, two Boeing 777-300s equipped as “flying hotspots” and will conduct a trial phase throughout the rest of 2013.
On board, passengers can access a wireless network from their own WiFi enabled phone, laptop and tablet by purchasing a package. Two rates are available to benefit from: €10.95 per hour or €19.95 for the entire flight.
Once connected, passengers can exchange text messages, emails, use the internet and watch live TV. They can also access the Air France or KLM portal, which offer many free services that enrich the entertainment offered on board. With the use of their mobile phone, they will be charged according to the tariff conditions agreed with their mobile operator. These services are available as soon as the aircraft reached an altitude of 20,000 feet shortly after departing.
“By jointly launching inflight Wi-Fi and data transmission, Air France and KLM are continuing to innovate. This inflight connectivity test phase on long-haul flights perfectly integrates our ongoing strategy to offer our customers even more new products and services,” said Alexandre de Juniac, Chairman and CEO of Air France.
“Connectivity is a significant investment in a brand new area where technology is still under development. Being permanently connected is part of our customers daily lives. We are aiming to define the best possible product and system to fit their needs and wishes. We’re confident that, in the future, all our passengers will be able to remain connected when travelling to and from our hubs at Paris Charles de Gaulle and Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.” says KLM President and CEO, Peter Hartman.
During this testing phase, customers will be asked to share their comments, suggestions and expectations.
Air France and KLM begin their effort today with tests of in-flight Wi-Fi on two Boeing 777-300ER jets that will fly between Europe and North America. Air France will debut the overseas Wi-Fi today (May 29) on a Paris-to-New York flight while KLM will begin its test on a flight from Amsterdam to Panama City, Panama.
Photo credit: Air France