Market demand for the capabilities offered by Connexion by Boeing is so strong that the system could be aboard 4,000 aircraft within the next decade, says Stan Deal, the company's vice-president for global network sales.

Six airlines have already ordered the system: All Nippon Airways, China Airlines, Japan Airlines, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines and Singapore Airlines, and other customers are expected this year. These are likely to include the announcement of a first US-based operator from mid-2004, and possible decisions from British Airways and Virgin Atlantic. Under current projections, Boeing expects to break even on its investment in Connexion technologies during 2007.

Connexion by Boeing has, meanwhile, provided details of its expected pricing model for the wireless communications system, which will be installed in 30 aircraft for launch operator Lufthansa before year-end. A flat rate of $29.95 will be levied to use the network for the duration of a long-haul flight, with a reduced access of 30min available for $9.95. Looking at service evolution, Boeing says Connexion will have the ability to screen live TV within the next 12-24 months.

Source: Flight International