Inflight WiFi take-up strong among Norwegian’s passengers

Norwegian’s reports that its free inflight WiFi has received a warm welcome from the airline’s passengers, with some flights having more than half the passengers online simultaneously.

The wireless system, the airline adds, hit a record high on the Oslo–Alicante flight on 14 April when 87 passengers were logged on at 30,000 feet. “We’re overwhelmed by the response among our passengers and are gradually installing WiFi on all of our new aircraft,” said the carrier’s CTO, Hans Petter Aanby.

Some routes have been shown to be more WiFi savvy than others, says Norwegian. The flights between Oslo and Geneva stand out with between 40% and 50% of all passengers logged on. Other popular WiFi routes include Oslo–London, Oslo–Dubai, Oslo–Alicante, Stockholm–London and Las Palmas–Stockholm.

Norwegian launched its high-speed broadband service in February, and is the only airline offering its customers such online facilities on European routes. By summer 2011, 11 aircraft will have internet on board and by the end of the year, 21 will be quipped with the technology, provided by Row 44. From May, Norwegian will offer inflight WiFi on all flights between Oslo and Stockholm. The service will be free of charge for the time being.

“This is a product that no other airline in Europe is currently offering, which gives us a huge competitive advantage. Our passengers will soon be able to see in the booking process whether the aircraft has WiFi,” said Aanby.

In 2011, 15 new Boeing 737-800s will enter Norwegian’s fleet – all equipped with WiFi and the Boeing Sky Interior. Norwegian plans to install WiFi on its entire fleet by the end of 2012.

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