US Airways to complete wi-fi expansion by June

Washington DC
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US Airways has outfitted 263 out of the 317 aircraft it has targeted for wi-fi installations, or about 83% of that fleet. It plans to have the entire expansion completed by June 2013.

So far, the Tempe, Arizona-based carrier has outfitted all of its 76 Airbus A321 aircraft with wi-fi and has completed wi-fi installations on the entire fleet of Republic's 38 Embraer 175s and 170s. It has also completed 39 of 72 wi-fi installations on its A320 aircraft and outfitted 14 of 18 E-190 aircraft.

US Airways will also offer Gogo Vision on-demand video on its A319, A320 and A321 aircraft. Gogo Vision streams content from an onboard server to passengers' portable electronic devices. The airline is working with Gogo on the service, but the timeline for deploying it is unclear.

"We have not turned it on yet but are actively working with Gogo to have it activated," says the carrier.

US Airways will be featuring Gogo's next-generation ATG-4 wi-fi on its A320 family aircraft. The A319s, A320s and new A321 deliveries have the connectivity for the first time, and the older Airbus A321s are being upgraded from Gogo's first generation of air-to-ground (ATG) technology. ATG-4 offers faster peak speeds of up to 9.8Mbps per aircraft, compared to peak speeds of up to 3.1Mbps for the regular ATG technology.

US Airways' E-190s as well as Republic's E-170s and E-175s will have the standard ATG technology.

On-demand video is becoming more prevalent among US-based carriers. Delta Air Lines is equipping more than 950 of its aircraft with the Gogo Vision service, and US Airways' proposed merger partner American Airlines plans to install it on 400 aircraft. Southwest Airlines is offering on-demand video content through Row 44 in addition to the live television offering already offered in the cabin.