Alaska Airlines is to offer Aircell’s Gogo Inflight Internet service on all of its aircraft.
With Gogo Inflight Internet, Alaska Airlines passengers will be able to browse the Web; access online music, games, podcasts and webcasts; send and receive e-mail; and connect to virtual private networks while flying, according to the airline. Alaska says the service will provide passengers with full Internet access on any Wi-Fi-equipped laptop or personal electronic device at speeds similar to wireless mobile broadband services on the ground.
“With more than 730 systems already flying, Aircell has a proven track record of deploying affordable inflight Wi-Fi services to airline customers,” says Steve Jarvis, Alaska’s vice president of marketing, sales and customer experience. “Their reliable, lower-cost equipment can be installed quickly, allowing Alaska Airlines to introduce Gogo service to our customers as soon as possible.”
Alaska and Aircell are currently working to install the Gogo service on a Boeing 737-800 and will begin testing to secure certification from the Federal Aviation Administration. Once Aircell’s equipment has been certified for Alaska’s 737s, the airline will start outfitting its entire fleet, beginning with its 737-800s serving longer routes.
The Gogo system, now available in the U.S. lower 48 states, will be offered to customers at a cost of $4.95 and up, based on length of flight and device used. To ensure the service is available to Alaska Airlines’ namesake state, Aircell will expand its network to provide Gogo Inflight Internet service on flights to, from and between key destinations in the state of Alaska.
Last year Alaska Airlines successfully tested a satellite-based inflight Wi-Fi service offered by Row 44. However, the airline says it ultimately chose Aircell’s Gogo service to speed fleet-wide installation and Wi-Fi availability for customers.
Alaska Airlines and sister regional carrier Horizon Air, subsidiaries of Alaska Air Group, together serve more than 90 cities in Alaska, the Lower 48 states, Hawaii, Canada and Mexico.
Aircell is a leading provider of airborne communications. As the winner of an exclusive FCC frequency license in 2006, Aircell has built a mobile broadband network for commercial and business aviation. In 2008, the Aircell Network and its inflight portal, Gogo began offering passengers robust Internet connectivity in-flight.
In addition, the Aircell Network provides airlines with connectivity to operations and a path to enhanced cabin services such as video, audio, television and more. A similar feature set is available to business aircraft operators.