Continental postpones trial of Gogo in-flight Internet

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Continental Airlines has postponed its trial of Aircell's Gogo in-flight Internet solution as it focuses on merging with United Airlines and their combined strategy going forward.

The carrier "is reviewing its options for in-flight wireless connectivity in the context of the merger integration-planning process", says Continental in an internal memo to employees.

"As a result, Continental is going to postpone the initial Gogo in-flight Internet installations, which were planned for the [Boeing] 757-300 fleet, so that Continental can determine its in-flight Internet connectivity solutions in the context of a merged carrier."

Continental last year announced plans to fit 21 757-300s with Aircell's pay-for-service Gogo system. At that time, the carrier said it would also follow through with a previously-announced plan to offer LiveTV's basic Kiteline email and messaging service for free on 30 Boeing 737-900ERs, an experiment that would help Continental decide its in-flight Wi-Fi plan for the future.

In April of this year, however, news emerged that LiveTV is no longer pursuing Kiteline in the commercial space, and, as such, the Continental trial was shelved.

Continental's memo to employees that the Gogo trial is postponed means that the carrier's plans for in-flight connectivity remain unclear. The US major says it will announce future decisions about Internet connectivity once they are made.

Continental's merger partner United, meanwhile, offers Gogo on a portion of its 757 fleet.