Air France-KLM could announce in-flight connectivity plan in 2010

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Air France-KLM is studying various in-flight connectivity solutions and could announce a decision next year.

Speaking to ATI yesterday in Washington DC, Air France-KLM vice-president and general manager, USA Christine Ourmieres said: "We have [in-seat power] plugs available to all our passengers to work on board [widebody aircraft]. Not all of them want to work on board, but [connectivity] is an expectation for some of them."

She adds: "Our technology experts are studying what kind of solutions are available but have not made a decision."

Air France in 2008 conducted a six-month trial of Airbus/SITA joint venture OnAir's in-flight mobile connectivity offering on an Airbus A319.

The trial allowed Air France to test the patterns of usage by travellers, says Ourmieres.

A connectivity announcement "could be next year", she adds.

Star Alliance member Lufthansa this week announced plans to reinstate in-flight broadband connectivity on its overseas flights. The carrier, which previously offered Boeing's Connexion service, has tapped Panasonic Avionics to provide its eXConnect Ku-band satellite-based solution on an initial 50 aircraft from the middle of 2010.