The first Delta Connection regional jet equipped with Wi-Fi departed on September 7 from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, with scheduled stops in Omaha, Nebraska;...

Delta Air Lines says it has become the first airline in the world to provide in-flight Internet service onboard its regional aircraft, with the September 7 flight of a Wi-Fi-equipped Bombardier CRJ700 operated by Delta Connection carrier Atlantic Southeast Airlines.

Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines had previously announced its plan to expand the number of aircraft – which currently includes its entire domestic fleet of more than 550 aircraft – with in-flight Wi-Fi to an additional 250 regional jets operated by Delta Connection carriers.  Delta says it will be the first carrier to deploy Wi-Fi across its entire mainline and two-class regional fleet, a total of more than 800 aircraft.

The first Delta Connection regional jet equipped with Wi-Fi departed on September 7 from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, with scheduled stops in Omaha, Nebraska; Des Moines, Iowa; and White Plains, New York throughout the day.

Atlantic Southeast Airlines and its parent company SkyWest, Inc. operate 406 Bombardier CRJs of various models, the world's largest CRJ fleet. This is one of SkyWest Inc.'s Bombardier CRJ700s, many of which operate in Delta Connection service

To mark the occasion, all passengers on the inaugural flight of the Wi-Fi-equipped regional jet receive complimentary Gogo access. The first passengers departing Atlanta received complimentary 30-day Wi-Fi service courtesy of Delta and Gogo; the service can be used for future travel.

“With the addition of Gogo in-flight Internet service on Delta Connection two-class regional aircraft, more than 81,000 additional customers daily will be able to stay connected just like they do onboard Delta’s mainline fleet,” says Bob Kupbens, Delta’s vice president – e-commerce. “We continue to innovate and lead the industry with customer-centric technology so customers can do things such as track their bags, check the status of their next flight, check email or connect with social networks while in flight.”

Installations of Wi-Fi on Delta Connection jets will be complete by early next year. Once complete, all customers flying on Delta domestic flights with a First Class cabin will enjoy Wi-Fi access, including service on every Delta Shuttle flight between New York-LaGuardia and Boston, Chicago-O’Hare and Washington, D.C.

Delta began installing Wi-Fi on domestic mainline aircraft in 2008, becoming the first U.S. major airline to announce plans for in-flight Internet service on all domestic aircraft. With its mainline aircraft and the addition of regional jets to the Wi-Fi program, more than 80 per cent of Delta’s entire domestic fleet will feature Gogo in-flight Internet access. Customers can stay connected using Gogo in-flight Internet with free access to or Delta’s mobile applications.

Delta Connection aircraft featuring First Class cabins include Embraer 170, Embraer 175, Bombardier CRJ700 and Bombardier CRJ900 models operated by Delta Connection. These aircraft have between nine and 12 seats in First Class and between 56 and 64 seats in Economy.

In addition to Wi-Fi, Delta has taken a number of steps to align service completely on Delta Connection and mainline flights. Recent improvements have included adding First Class cabins to 82 additional CRJ700 jets; introducing meal service in First Class on regional jets; and adding china, linen and silverware to Delta Connection First Class cabins.