WAEA2009: Lufthansa to confirm in-flight broadband plan next week

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Star Alliance member Lufthansa next week will confirm a partnership with Panasonic Avionics to reignite in-flight broadband on its overseas flights.

Sources with knowledge of the situation tell ATI and Flightglobal that Lufthansa will announce the agreement on 12 October.

Some 72 aircraft in Lufthansa's international fleet are still equipped with Connexion by Boeing (CBB) antennas.

Those systems will remain in place when Lufthansa starts offering Panasonic's Ku-band-based eXconnect service to passengers.

New Lufthansa aircraft, including the carrier's forthcoming Airbus A380s, are expected to be retrofitted with Panasonic's eXconnect antenna, which is supplied by EMS and includes Starling technology.

While the eXconnect antenna is nearly the same size as the MELCO antenna used by now-commercially-defunct CBB, it is only a fraction of the weight. The radome has also been contoured to reduce drag and improve efficiency.