Cutting the Connexion

Boeing’s recent announcement that it has decided to shut down its Connexion unit, which offers internet access in-flight via passenger laptops, has, not surprisingly, been less than enthusiastically received by its airline customers.
The manufacturer has said it was disappointed with the level of demand for the product and intends to “work with customers on an orderly phase-out of the Connexion by Boeing service”.
There are currently 11 airlines flying with Connexion, with carriers from Asia at the technological sharp end in having their aircraft fitted with the high-speed broadband service. Asian airlines offering Connexion include South Korea’s Asiana Airlines and Korean Air; Taiwan’s China Airlines; All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines in Japan; and Singapore Airlines.
German flag carrier Lufthansa is Connexion’s biggest customer with 62 of its 80 long-haul aircraft now equipped with the service. The airline says: “Boeing has assured us that the service will continue until the end of the year.”
Lufthansa remains interested in the service and does not rule out looking at other possible partners to enable it to continue to offer it, but admits there does not seem to be an answer at the moment.
Singapore Airlines and Japan Airlines have both expressed their disappointment, and there have been mutterings about the possibility of claiming compensation for the withdrawal of the service.
So the question that now remains is; Whither in-flight entertainment? Perhaps it is in the realm of mobile phone and Blackberry use that there is real value to be had. In-flight mobile telephony service provider OnAir is set to announce three more airline triallists over the next two months, following Air France, BMI and TAP Portugal’s commitment to offer the service from early next year.
Chief executive George Cooper says the company is preparing to announce three more airline commitments soon, all of which will cover European short-haul operations.
Rival provider AeroMobile says it is now working with three undisclosed carriers in the Middle East and Asia-Pacific. Two of these are planning fleet-wide deployment on long-haul aircraft, while the other will start with a trial to gauge demand. AeroMobile expects two of these airlines to be offering the system this year.

One Response to Cutting the Connexion

  1. P1 Pro 29 December, 2009 at 5:35 pm #

    You are a very bright person!

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