Finnair is to install a high-speed wireless internet network on its entire Airbus A320 series short-haul fleet flying in Europe.
California-based ViaSat is supplying the Wi-Fi network. Finnair currently operates 30 A320 series aircraft.
The installation of the Wi-Fi equipment begins in May 2017, and will be completed by June 2018.
With a connection speed of 12 Mbps or higher per passenger, the new system will offer the fastest in-flight internet connection currently available on the market.
It will also enable the use of increasingly popular video streaming services.
ViaSat will ensure end-to-end in-flight connectivity service across the Finnair fleet.
It has partnered with Eutelsat to deliver the high-speed satellite-based internet service, which will cover the entire European continent.
Piia Karhu, SVP, Customer Experience Development at Finnair:
“Our customers increasingly value the possibility of being connected during their flights and this change will also create great opportunities for Finnair to further develop its in-flight portal that will serve customers with news, entertainment and great shopping opportunities on their portable devices. We are very pleased to partner with ViaSat on this project as we will be able to offer our customers the best possible Wi-Fi offering available on the market today, and that has the ability to scale, once the installations are completed.”
Don Buchman, vice president and general manager, Commercial Mobility at ViaSat:
“Finnair is a forward-looking airline that is recognized worldwide for customer service. With the ViaSat in-flight Wi-Fi system, enabled across Europe by Eutelsat’s service, Finnair can deliver greater value to its customers by giving them the freedom to use their own device to engage with the internet in new ways – from enhanced online shopping to out-of-the-box online entertainment experiences.”
Finnair inflight connectivity
Last July, Finnair announced that its entire long-haul fleet of Airbus A330 aircraft would be retrofitted with Wi-Fi connectivity by May 2017. Finnair is currently operating six A350-XWB aircraft which already offer wireless connectivity for its passengers. The airline is expected to receive an additional five A350 aircraft by the end of next year.
With both the long-haul and short-haul fleet set to offer internet connectivity by June 2018, over a thousand route pairs in Finnair’s network will offer Wi-Fi connectivity for transiting passengers.
Additionally, Finnair’s Wi-Fi coverage over Chinese airspace has recently been opened, having been closed previously due to limitations by the authorities.
Finnair’s wireless internet access is free for Business class passengers, Finnair Plus Gold and Platinum customers, and oneworld Sapphire and Emerald level customers.
Economy class passengers can buy internet access at an hourly rate or for the duration of the flight. Currently €5 for one hour or €15 for the entire flight on the A350.
Finnair is the largest airline in Finland. It’s main hub is Helsinki Airport.
Routes: Finnair flies between Asia, Europe and North America with an emphasis on fast connections via Helsinki, and connecting 17 cities in Asia with more than 60 destinations in Europe.
Fleet: Six Airbus A350-900, five AirbusA340-300, eight A330-300, eleven AirbusA321, ten AirbusA320, nine A319, twelve EmbraerE190. Five more A350-XWB are expected by end 2017.
Passengers: Just over 10.3 million in 2015
N.B. Image credit: Finnair