Finnair unveils in-flight Wi-Fi capable of video streaming

Finnair unveils in-flight Wi-Fi capable of video streaming

Finnair is to install a high-speed wireless internet network across its short haul fleet of Airbus A320s in Europe.

Installation of the Wi-Fi equipment will start in May 2017 and is due to be completed by June 2018.

With a connection speed of 12 Mbps or higher per passenger, the new system will offer the fastest in-flight internet connection currently available on the market, the carrier claims.

This will enable the use of increasingly video streaming services in flight.

Broadband service and technology firm ViaSat will ensure end-to-end in-flight connectivity service across the Finnair fleet.

It has partnered with Eutelsat to deliver the high-speed satellite-based internet service, which will cover the entire European continent.

Wireless internet access is free for business class passengers, Finnair Plus Gold and Platinum customers, and Oneworld Sapphire and Emerald level customers.

Economy class passengers can buy internet access at an hourly rate or for the duration of the flight.

Finnair announced last July that its entire long haul fleet of Airbus A330s would be retrofitted with Wi-Fi connectivity by May 2017.

The carrier is currently operating six A350-XWB aircraft which offer wireless connectivity for its passengers.

The airline is expected to receive an additional five A350s by the end of next year.

Customer experience development senior vice president, Pila Karhu, said: “Our customers increasingly value the possibility of being connected during their flights and this change will also create great opportunities for Finnair to further develop its in-flight portal that will serve customers with news, entertainment and great shopping opportunities on their portable devices.

“We are very pleased to partner with ViaSat on this project as we will be able to offer our customers the best possible Wi-Fi offering available on the market today, and that has the ability to scale, once the installations are completed.”

ViaSat commercial mobility vice president and general manager, Don Buchman, added: “With the in-flight Wi-Fi system, enabled across Europe by Eutelsat’s service, Finnair can deliver greater value to its customers by giving them the freedom to use their own device to engage with the internet in new ways – from enhanced online shopping to out-of-the-box online entertainment experiences.”

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