Row 44 is gearing up to soon begin installing its Ku-band satellite-based in-flight connectivity system on Norwegian's Boeing 737-800s, following a lengthy delay.

"We will begin fleet-wide installations for [Norwegian] just after the New Year," a Row 44 spokesman confirms. Flightglobal's ACAS fleet database shows Norwegian currently operates 28 Next Generation 737-800s.

Norwegian originally planned to begin equipping its -800s with Ku-band antennas and other Row 44 equipment in the fourth quarter of 2009.

Regulatory issues "took a bit longer than we expected" but Row 44 recently "lit up our Western European theatre of operations", says the spokesman, adding: "We also currently have personnel in Europe setting up our network operations centre as we speak."

Norwegian will become the second carrier to offer Row 44's in-flight high-speed Internet service. US low-cost operator Southwest Airlines is in the process of fitting its entire fleet with the system, and is on pace to equip 60 aircraft before the New Year. South African carrier Mango has also signed a deal with Row 44.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news