ANA chooses OnAir wi-fi for international routes

Washington DC
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Starting in the third quarter of 2013, All Nippon Airways will offer OnAir's wi-fi service on its international routes.

The carrier's Boeing 777-300ER and Boeing 767-300ER aircraft will be the first to be retrofitted with Internet OnAir, which uses the Inmarsat SwiftBroadband service.

The wi-fi service includes an internet hotspot on the aircraft so passengers can connect to their personal devices in flight. ANA will be using the wi-fi in addition to its existing Panasonic Avionics eX2 audio/video on demand system, which it chose for its Boeing 767-300ER and 777-300ER aircraft in 2009.

OnAir says that 16 airlines are currently flying with its wi-fi service, mobile phone connections, or a combination of both. It plans to have 20 in-service airline customers by the end of 2012.

Thai Airways recently announced it would it equip its new Airbus A380 and A330 aircraft with OnAir's phone and wi-fi services, and other customers using the service include Emirates, British Airways and TAM.

OnAir said that customers choosing SwiftBroadband service available today have the option of undergoing a "smooth deployment" process to upgrade to Inmarsat's new GlobalXpress Ka-band technology, which which OnAir will provide from 2014.

Ka-band will offer 30% more data volume than SwiftBroadband, and OnAir says it has started talks with customers interested in the new connectivity option.