EasyJet has no plans to install in-flight Wi-Fi despite declaring connectivity “ubiquitous” and conceding “people expect it”.
Simon Lamkin, easyJet’s head of operations systems, said the carrier would not make Wi-Fi available on flights until the “right technology is available”.
Lamkin told the Sita Air Transport IT Summit in Brussels: “We are not convinced the right Wi-Fi product for us is available, and certainly not at the right cost.”
He conceded: “Wi-Fi is ubiquitous and people don’t expect to pay for it.” But Lamkin said: “We have an average flight time of an hour and a half and you have to think what you would with that.
“We’ll be looking for a solution that will probably be free, but it’s finding the right product.”We’re not convinced the [current] satellite technology is right — the right quality or speed — and it is not a top priority for us.
“We’re going to wait for a year or two. It’s not a burning need — it’s an inconvenience if you can’t get connectivity on a flight at the moment.”
Lamkin said: “We do see the operating benefits of having inflight connectivity. But we want the right technology.”
His remarks echoed those two years ago of former easyJet chief information officer Trevor Didcock, who left the carrier in March to set up a consulting company.
Didcock told the 2013 Sita Air Transport IT Summit: “We are looking at Wi-Fi onboard, but it’s all about the cost. We don’t see it as a ‘killer app’ yet.”