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Alaska Airlines goes for Gogo

Alaska Airlines is to offer Aircell’s Gogo Inflight Internet service on all aircraft in its fleet.

With Gogo, Alaska Airlines passengers will be able to browse the web; access online music, games, podcasts and webcasts; send and receive e-mail; and connect to virtual private networks while flying. The service will provide passengers with full internet access on any Wi-Fi-equipped laptop or personal electronic device at speeds similar to wireless mobile broadband services on the ground.

"With more than 730 systems already flying, Aircell has a proven track record of deploying affordable inflight Wi-Fi services to airline customers," said Steve Jarvis, Alaska’s vice-president of marketing, sales and customer experience. "Their reliable, lower-cost equipment can be installed quickly, allowing Alaska Airlines to introduce Gogo service to our customers as soon as possible."

Alaska and Aircell are currently working to install the Gogo service on a Boeing 737-800 and will begin testing to secure certification from the Federal Aviation Administration. Once Aircell’s equipment has been certified for Alaska’s 737s, the airline will start outfitting its entire fleet, beginning with its 737-800s serving longer routes.

The Gogo system, currently available in the US lower 48 states, will be offered to customers at a cost of $4.95 and upwards, based on length of flight and device used. To ensure the service is available to the airline’s namesake state, Aircell will expand its network to provide Gogo Inflight Internet service on flights to, from and between key destinations in the state of Alaska.

Last year Alaska Airlines successfully tested a satellite-based inflight Wi-Fi service offered by Row 44. However, the airline says it chose Aircell’s Gogo service to speed fleet-wide installation and Wi-Fi availability for customers.

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