Finnair launches Wi-Fi service on narrowbody fleet

Finnair has launched a new high-speed internet service on its narrow-body Airbus fleet on European flights, giving passengers gate-to-gate connectivity. The airline already provides internet connection on all its long-haul flights.

Partnering with Viasat, the service has been installed on six of Finnair’s narrow body Airbus aircraft. By the end of this summer some 20 aircraft are expected to be installed with internet connectivity, with the entire narrow-body Airbus fleet expected to be internet connected by summer 2019.

“We are very happy that we can offer our customers something truly special, a state-of-the-art internet connection on our European flights,” says Piia Karhu, senior vice president, Customer Experience at Finnair. “Customers can also enjoy the services we provide online through our Nordic Sky portal, such as the latest digital newspapers and shopping possibilities. Having an internet connection on-board also enables us to introduce new tools for our crew to improve the customer experience on our flights.”

Internet connectivity will be complimentary on European flights during the testing period, which lasts for two months. During this testing period, Finnair will gather information on system functionality and feedback on the overall customer experience. Pricing will be announced after the testing period is complete.

Viasat’s Don Buchman, vice president and general manager, Commercial Aviation added, “Finnair is a customer-focused airline bringing the latest technology to their fleet to ensure advanced passenger engagement. We’re proud to partner with them, and provide on-board internet experiences that deliver on unmatched speed and quality. In entering the passenger testing phase, we’ll be gaining the critical insights needed to further optimise our service to ensure Finnair customers get a unique experience built around their needs, interests and usage behaviours.”

Once the installations are complete, the in-flight internet connection will be available on most of Finnair’s European flights. There are some limitations above sea areas like the Bay of Biscay and the North Sea where the satellite coverage and connectivity are unavailable. Some restrictions also apply over Latvia, Lithuania, parts of Belarus and Russia. Restrictions may also apply to gate-to-gate internet service availability due to specific country and aviation agency regulations.

Written by: Alexander Preston

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