FARNBOROUGH: Air New Zealand holds back on connectivity

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Air New Zealand is waiting for faster and lower-cost in-flight internet connectivity before it fits a solution to its aircraft.

The airline’s head of aircraft interiors and customer experience, Victoria Bamford, says that it is waiting for a solution to emerge that will meet all of its requirements.

“We’re not offering an internet solution on this aircraft yet – we’re just not there quite yet. It is the technology, it is the speed, it is the cost,” she says. “When we offer it, we want it to be an experience that people are familiar with, not a dial-up [connection].”

She adds that there are no plans to follow alliance partner Virgin Australia and offer a service allowing passengers to stream content to their own devices. Instead, the airline is firmly focused on its seat-back screens for passenger entertainment.

Air New Zealand has chosen the Panasonic Avionics eX3 solution for its Boeing 787s and will also retrofit that system to its 777-200ERs. Bamford notes that eX3 will allow passengers to access some applications, such as TripAdvisor, through their seat-back screens.