China Eastern begins inflight wi-fi trial

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China Eastern Airlines has begun a wi-fi trial on one of its Airbus A330 aircraft.

The carrier is conducting the trial, which commenced on 23 July, based on Ku-band satellite internet service provided by China Telecom. This will end on 30 September, it says.

In a separate statement, Panasonic Avionics says the airline has picked its eXConnect system to power the trial. This will also be rolled out to six Boeing 767s and 20 777s at an unspecified date.

The trial is now being conducted on the Shanghai-Beijing route, allowing government agencies to observe the wi-fi operations before granting full regulatory approval for use on other domestic and international services, it adds.

Besides China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines is also conducting inflight wi-fi trials on one of its Airbus A330-300s, operating on the Beijing-Guangzhou route. It is also using the same Ku-band service provided by China Telecom. However, it did not identify the provider of the trial system.