BA are considering installing high speed WiFi into there transatlantic fleet
British Airways passengers will be able to stream films on transatlantic flights from next year after the airline’s owners, IAG, announced a deal to install what it claims will be the fastest Wi-Fi in the air.
While BA has lagged behind competitors in providing Wi-Fi on its flights, Willie Walsh, the IAG chief executive, said technological advances have vindicated the decision to wait.
No decision has been taken on the cost to passengers but Walsh hinted it was likely to be free for basic browsing with charges for a faster service allowing downloads and video streaming. The technology would in theory allow Skype or Facetime conversations, though they are likely to be blocked to avoid annoying other passengers.
The Wi-Fi will be provided by Gogo, a Chicago-based aircraft communications firm that has rolled out web access for US domestic flights, including Delta’s 6,000-plane fleet, largely via ground-to-air networks. It said the average price for US flyers was typically around $13 (£8) an hour for fast internet.
The latest “2ku” technology employs satellites, with more compact and aerodynamic antennae on planes than previous versions, lowering the operating costs in terms of fuel burn for airlines.