China Eastern Airlines will become the first domestic carrier in China to provide a 3G WiFi service on selected long-haul international flights.
The airline will launch the offer on November 12.
The offer will apply initially to flights from Shanghai to New York, Los Angeles and Toronto served by Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, which are fitted with satellite communication devices, Zhang Chi, deputy director of the airline’s business development office, told Shanghai Daily.
However, over the course of a three-month trial, the service will be provided on international flights to Vancouver and San Francisco, and also on selected domestic flights to and from Beijing, Guangzhou, Kunming, Chengdu and Chongqing, Zhang said.
The service will be limited to 50 passengers per flight.
Anyone with a valid booking number for a flight within the trial period should visit the China Eastern website to register for an access code, which will be provided on a first come, first served basis.
“The first 50 people to apply will be sent a code via short message or e-mail,” Zhang said, adding that during the trial the service will be free, but charges will apply in the future.
“We will review network flows during the test run to work out price plans. In the future, we might offer a range of services, with different bandwidths and Internet speeds, and charge accordingly,” he said.
The user quota is also subject to review following the test run, he said.
While people with access codes will have full access to the Internet, those without will still be able to browse a limited number of websites, including the carrier’s own, Zhang said.
About China Eastern
China Eastern Airlines (MU) is headquartered in Shanghai, China. It is a major Chinese airline operating international, domestic and regional routes.
Its main hubs are at Shanghai Pudong International Airport and Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport, with secondary hubs at Kunming Changshui International Airport and Xi’an Xianyang International Airport.
China Eastern Airlines is China’s second-largest carrier by passenger numbers.
The network covers China, Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia, Europe, America and Oceania.
China Eastern and its subsidiary Shanghai Airlines became the 14th member of SkyTeam on 21 June 2011.
In 2014, China Eastern Airlines carried 83.08 million domestic and international passengers with an average load factor of 73%.
N.B. Image credit: youtube.com