Alaska makes progress in Row 44 evaluation

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Alaska Airlines plans to decide within the next year on outfitting its entire fleet with Row 44's high-speed ku-band-based Internet solution.

The Seattle-based carrier has been trailing Row 44 wi-fi on a single 737-700 since February. Alaska Airlines vice president of finance Brandon Pedersen says the carrier "thinks it's a good product" and while it is still in the evaluation phase it expects to roll out the technology across the fleet. Speaking to ATI at this week's Cargo Facts 2009 aircraft symposium, Pedersen says he expects a decision on fleet-wide implementation within the next year.

According to Flightglobal's ACAS database Alaska operates a fleet of 115 Boeing 737s.

Pedersen says Row 44 is better suited for Alaska Airlines than other providers, including Aircell's Gogo Internet product, because it has better coverage over water and in Alaska.