Connexion by Boeing is continuing efforts to convert more airlines into firm customers for its broadband connectivity service after securing German carrier Lufthansa.

British Airways, Japan Airlines (JAL) and SAS are at varying stages of their evaluation of the onboard Internet system, while Connexion is also working with a fifth undisclosed airline. Lufthansa completed a three-month single-aircraft trial of the Connexion service earlier this year and last month firmed up its commitment by signing a deal to equip its long-haul fleet of Airbus A330/340s and Boeing 747-400s with the service.


Installations of what Lufthansa will call its FlyNet system will begin early next year. FlyNet general manager Burkhard Wigger says he expects three aircraft to be equipped when the service makes its full launch next March.

Lufthansa's 78-strong fleet of A340s will be the first to be equipped and should be completed by around March 2006. Speaking at a press conference at the Paris airshow yesterday, Connexion president Scott Carson described the confirmation of the Lufthansa contract as a "dramatic step forward".

"With all four customers we are well into negotiations to lead into fleet commitments with those operators," says Carson. BA also has completed its own three-month single-aircraft trial of the system and is now in a 60-day post-trial evaluation period.

Carson says: "Our expectation is [of a BA decision] by late summer, early fall."

Connexion also has letters of intent with JAL and SAS, while Carson adds: "We have one airline that we are working with, and when they are ready, we will make an announcement."

Source: Flight Daily News