Aer Lingus will soon provide customers on its European network with in-cabin Internet access. The new service will be available on Aer Lingus short-haul fleet, including Airbus A319/A320 and A321, from mid-2013. Aer Lingus has signed a letter of intent with LiveTV, a wholly owned subsidiary of jetBlue Airways – Aer Lingus’s ow-cost US partner airline – to offer customers the fastest and most advanced airborne Internet access.
The first aircraft to be fitted with the Internet capability is expected to launch mid-2013 and will provide services via the KA-SAT satellite operated by Eutelsat Communications that offers high-speed Internet access throughout Europe.
Aer Lingus Chief Commercial Officer, Stephen Kavanagh, said: “We have been investigating ways to bring in-cabin connectivity to our customers for quite some time. We believe we have secured the best product in terms of speed, capacity and value for money. This initiative is in direct response to customer feedback, from business and leisure customers alike. Having direct access to in-cabin wi-fi is top of our customers’ wish-lists. We look forward to enhancing our customers’ experience and working for many years to come with LiveTV and Eutelsat.”
“We are excited about adding Aer Lingus as our Ka-band European launch airline,” said Glenn Latta, President of LiveTV. “The decision by Ireland’s national carrier to select LiveTV’s Ka-band system validates that airlines are ready to skip first-generation technologies and go straight to Ka-band, the most advanced services for true At Home in the Air broadband.”
“We are delighted to partner with LiveTV and provide industry-changing technology,” said Jean-François Lepince Ringuet, Eutelsat Chief Commercial Officer. “The increasing user expectation for broadband access in all environments is expanding the scope of platforms like KA-SAT that can deliver both performance and cost-efficiency. The satellite mobility business is entering a new era and we are excited to leverage our newest technologies in order to expand our contribution to this market.”
The letter of intent with LiveTV provides the framework for a definitive agreement to be negotiated with LiveTV.