Delta to launch Gogo tomorrow; details equipage plan for Northwest

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Delta Air Lines has unveiled plans to launch Aircell's Gogo in-flight Internet service tomorrow and laid out a strategy for equipping merger partner Northwest Airlines' fleet.

The US major will initially offer Gogo on five Boeing MD-88s that operate shuttle service between New York LaGuardia, Boston Logon and Washington National as well as on a single Boeing 757 flying throughout its domestic system.

It expects 10 aircraft to offer Gogo by the end of this year.

Throughout 2009, Delta will continue to add Gogo across its domestic fleet, first on MD-88s, MD-90s, 757s and Boeing 737 aircraft, and expanding to the remaining domestic fleet of Boeing 767-300 aircraft by late 2009.

Additionally, Delta and Aircell will begin the certification process for the mainline domestic fleet of the airline's Northwest subsidiary in early 2009 with Gogo installations scheduled to begin in late 2009.

"The full fleet agreement between Aircell and Delta will ultimately ensure a consistent, convenient onboard experience for customers traveling throughout the continental United States on Delta- or Northwest-operated flights who wish to use the Internet service," says Delta in a statement.

Although Delta will charge the same rate for Gogo as on American and Virgin America - $9.95 for flights less than three hours and $12.95 for flights longer than three hours - the SkyTeam member is offering complementary access to Gogo as a holiday promotion during the initial weeks of service, from 16-31 December.

"In-flight Internet access is one of the most popular requests we receive from our customers," says Delta senior VP of marketing Tim Mapes.

"Next year when Gogo is available on our entire domestic mainline fleet, our customers will have access to the most extensive Wi-Fi network in the sky, making the time they spend with us on board even more productive and entertaining."

To date Aircell has secured five customers - Air Canada, American, Delta, Virgin America and an undisclosed operator.