Posted on: 16 October 2014 by Ross McSweeny
United Airlines (United) has selected Gogo to provide the in-flight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) services for its two-cabin regional jet fleet.
The agreement will see United become the first airline to install Gogo’s ATG-4 in-flight broadband solution, which Gogo says more than triples peak internet speeds to an aircraft in comparison with its original ATG service, launched in 2008.
Installation of ATG-4 on United’s 200-strong regional fleet, which consists of E170s, E175s and CRJ700s, is scheduled to begin before the end of 2014. The introduction of Gogo’s IFE content for Wi-Fi enabled iOS and Android devices and laptops will follow in 2015, allowing passengers to access films and television shows via United’s mobile app.
The news follows United’s recent announcement that it’s investing heavily in its regional subsidiary, United Express, ordering 120 brand new E175 jets which offer 12 seats in ‘United First’ with in-seat power.
“United has been a great partner of ours and we are excited to extend our in-flight Internet service to a large part of their regional fleet," remarked Gogo's president and CEO, Michael Small. "We are also excited to bring their passengers personal device entertainment, as we have long believed that you need multiple technologies to service the needs of all aircraft types and each route that those aircraft fly.”
United also has plans to begin a trial of Gogo's 2Ku satellite Wi-Fi on five of the carrier's aircraft that operate its ‘Premium Service’ (and already offer ATG-4) between New York JFK and Los Angeles and New York JFK and San Francisco.
The airline’s broader Wi-Fi strategy includes designs to complete the installation of in-flight broadband on the entire mainline fleet by mid-2015 (two-thirds is already connected). All Boeing 747s and Airbus aircraft currently allow passengers to access IFE through personal devices, but United also plans to bring in the amenity on a further 200 mainline aircraft by the end of this year.