Norwegian to introduce free Wi-Fi on long-haul flights

Norwegian is introducing in-flight Wi-Fi on its long-haul fleet of aircraft, rolling out ‘Basic and ‘Premium’ high-speed Wi-Fi connectivity onto its Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner and 737 MAX aircraft.

Norwegian says it is the first low-cost carrier to introduce free Wi-Fi on intercontinental flights, with rollout to the airline’s 737 MAX aircraft commencing from mid-January 2019.

More than half of Norwegian’s 787-9 Dreamliner fleet is expected to offer in-flight connectivity by 2020.

Norwegian will be using the wireless in-flight connectivity platform, CabinConnect by Collins Aerospace which uses the Inmarsat Global Aviation (GX) satellite network.

Through CabinConnect passengers will have secure access to content including shows, in-flight map and voice and messaging services through their devices.

“We are collaborating with Norwegian to achieve their vision of optimizing their aircraft and enterprise operations to address both cabin and flight deck requirements, as well as adding new capabilities for the future,” said LeAnn Ridgeway, vice-president of Information Management Services at Collins Aerospace.

The first Wi-Fi connected Norwegian Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft was delivered on 18 December and has now entered service – marking the first time Norwegian passengers can experience free in-flight Wi-Fi for the full duration of long-haul flights.

“We’re continuously improving the in-flight customer experience and we’re delighted to be the first airline offering free Wi-Fi for the full duration of long-haul flights,” said Norwegian’s vice-president business development Boris Bubresko. “Millions of Norwegian customers have already enjoyed free Wi-Fi over the skies of Europe and now long-haul passengers can continue to rely on free and high-speed internet connectivity that will enhance and personalize their journeys.”

“From being the first European airline to launch free Wi-Fi on all short-haul flights followed by free live television, Norwegian’s rollout of high-quality in-flight broadband services will offer business and leisure travellers even greater value at affordable fares,” Bubresko added.

Norwegian economy and Premium customers on the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner and 737 MAX will have the choice of two in-flight Wi-Fi packages.

The free ‘Basic’ option allows customers to browse the web, use social media, send and receive emails and instant messages using their personal devices for the length of the flight.

The ‘Premium’ option offers high-speed Wi-Fi capable of streaming music, movies and TV shows on Netflix, YouTube and Hulu amongst others. This option will be available at an introductory price of US$14.95 for a three-hour package.

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