Right now, I’m sitting in a very comfortable chair in Lufthansa’s new flagship lounge at JFK airport. I’m treating myself to a mohito and a glass of champagne because I’m a happy girl.
Lufthansa VP, the Americas Jens Bischof has just assured me that the carrier “will be the only airline for quite a while who will run a new broadband [system] over water again in 2009″.
The former Connexion customer was rather upset when Boeing pulled the plug on that offering at the end of 2006. After all, its passengers loved the service.
Those passengers are chomping at the bit to have high-speed Internet again. “We know our travelers are excited and can’t wait,” says Bischof.
The big MELCO antennas already installed on two thirds of Lufthansa’s intercontinental fleet will remain in place to support the new service, says Bischof.
“We will try to use as much of our installation [as possible],” he says.
Lufthansa has not confirmed its Internet partners. But RWG readers know that a grouping comprised of T-Mobile, ViaSat, AeroSat and others are getting it done, baby.
And yes, Lufthansa has full intentions of offering in-flight Internet on its Airbus A380s. But it’s not yet clear to this RWG if the aircraft will have the system from the get-go..
Lufthansa’s first A380 is expected to arrive by year-end in preparation for a spring 2010 launch of revenue service.
JFK’s Terminal 1 (of which Luftie is a 25% stakeholder) has done “a tremendous job to upgrade its facilities to make the airport A380 ready”, says Bischof.
“There is no doubt for us that JFK is on the super short-list for the A380.”
Indeed, Luftie says we should expect an announcement “in the near future”.