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CEA adds in-flight Wi-Fi on domestic flights

China Eastern Airlines (CEA) claims to have become the first carrier in China to offer passengers in-flight connectivity, powered by the China Telecom Satellite aeronautical service and Panasonic Avionics Corporation’s (Panasonic) eXConnect system.

Lv Junli, President of China Telecom Satellite commented, “This is a momentous day for China’s commercial airline industry, and we are very confident of providing better broadband connectivity to China with our partners at China Eastern Airlines and Panasonic.”

The first aircraft fully equipped with the technology is an Airbus A330 which is flown on routes between Shanghai and Beijing. The government agencies plan to observe the service in operation before they grant full regulatory approval for in-flight Wi-Fi on other domestic and international flights.

If successful, CEA are planning on rolling out the connectivity service to a further 26 aircraft including 6 Boeing 767 and 20 Boeing 777 aircraft.

“After years of close collaboration with China Eastern Airlines and China Telecom Satellite, we are now witnessing the next step in the evolution of in-flight entertainment over China,” explained Paul Margis, President and Chief Executive Officer of Panasonic Avionics. “We are very excited to bring in-flight broadband Wi-Fi to this strategic market.”

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