WAEA2009: Row 44 to deliver first ad-supported in-flight Wi-Fi

Palm Springs
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In-flight connectivity service provider Row 44 has partnered with mobile audience media company JiWire to deliver the world's first ad-supported in-flight Wi-Fi solution.

Under the partnership, JiWire will provide advertising from its client list of over 100 top brand advertisers. These will be displayed on Row 44's new Skytown Center virtual mall, an in-flight portal that will be free to travelers.

When travelers access Row 44's Skytown Center they will be able to engage with an advertiser in a variety of formats with the ability to message at the point of authentication, says JiWire.

Southwest Airlines and Alaska Airlines have equipped some of their aircraft with Row 44's satellite broadband Internet access system. The former recently announced plans to rollout Row 44's system across its 550-strong fleet of Boeing 737s. Neither has yet revealed what they will charge passengers for unfettered access to Row 44-provided in-flight Internet.

"JiWire's pioneering success in using location to target audiences means this first-of-its-kind in-flight content and shopping service will deliver the right messages to the right passengers at the right times - while providing our airline partners with a new way to monetize in-flight connectivity," says Row 44 vice-president of business development Wendy Campanella.

Adds JiWire founder and CEo Devin McKenzie: "By partnering with Row 44, we can offer advertisers an opportunity to engage a captive audience at the on-ramp to the Internet throughout the lifecycle of a traveler - reaching a person in the hotel, in the airport, in the executive lounge and, now, in the air."

Further details of the new partnership will be released by Row 44 today at the World Airline Entertainment Association (WAEA) conference and exhibition in Palm Springs, California.