Delta will join the other airlines using Aircell’s GoGo cellular data service, becoming the first of the U.S. biggies to announce concrete plans for a fleet-wide rollout. They’re starting with their 133 MD88/90s, then moving on to hit every plane by summer of next year. It’ll run you US$9.95 for flights less than three hours, or US$12.95 for longer flights. There goes our last possible Internet-free haven…I mean, yay! Read on for the full release:
Delta to Become Only Major U.S. Airline to Offer Broadband Wi-Fi Access on Entire Domestic Mainline Fleet
Aircell’s Gogo inflight Internet service to be available in first and economy classes on more than 330 Delta aircraft in 2009, the most expansive inflight broadband offering of any U.S. air carrier
ATLANTA, Aug. 5, 2008 – Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) customers travelling throughout the continental United States will soon be offered the added convenience of broadband Wi-Fi access onboard the airline’s domestic fleet of more than 330 mainline aircraft.
Delta is joining with Aircell®, a 17-year leader in airborne communications for business and commercial aviation, to install the company’s Mobile Broadband Network on the carrier’s domestic fleet. The system, Gogo™, will enable Delta customers travelling with Wi-Fi enabled devices, such as laptops, smartphones and PDAs, to access the Internet, corporate VPNs, corporate and personal e-mail accounts, as well as SMS texting and instant messaging services. Gogo will be available to customers for a flat fee of $9.95 on flights of three hours or less, and $12.95 on flights of more than three hours.
“Delta remains committed to providing a travel experience that maximizes the time our customers spend with us onboard by offering them even more productivity options,” said Richard Anderson, Delta’s chief executive officer. “Our customers asked for in-flight connectivity, and we’re responding by rolling out the most extensive Wi-Fi network in the sky. Beginning this fall, our passengers will have the ability to stay connected when they travel with us throughout the continental U.S.”
Gogo will be offered initially on Delta’s fleet of 133 MD88/90 aircraft and will rapidly expand to the remaining domestic fleet of more than 200 Boeing 737, 757 and 767-300 aircraft throughout the first half of 2009. The airline expects to have more than 330 aircraft complete by summer 2009. The full fleet agreement between Aircell and Delta will provide a consistent, convenient experience for customers travelling on the airline who wish to use the Gogo Internet service.
“The advent of Air-To-Ground (ATG) technology has made broadband connectivity in the cabin economically viable for the first time for commercial airlines,” said Jack Blumenstein, President and CEO, Aircell. “The game has changed and Delta will be among the first to provide an enhanced customer experience with broadband Wi-Fi access on more than 1,000 daily flights within the U.S.”
In addition to being the most cost-effective in-flight broadband technology available, the Aircell system is extremely light, requires minimal space on the aircraft and is installed overnight, making it a sound investment in a competitive, high fuel-price environment.
Aircell LLC is the world’s leading provider of airborne communications. As winner of an exclusive FCC frequency licence in 2006, Aircell has built a revolutionary mobile broadband network for commercial and business aviation. In 2008, the Aircell Network and its inflight portal, known as Gogo™, will revolutionize the commercial airline passenger flight experience, delivering a robust Internet experience at 35,000 feet. 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. Aircell has facilities in Broomfield, Colorado, and Itasca, Illinois. Aircell’s vision is to give everyone the ability to stay in touch, in flight™. For more information about Aircell, please visit http://www.aircell.com/.
Gogo™, powered by Aircell, turns a commercial aeroplane into a Wi-Fi hotspot with true inflight Internet access. Passengers with Wi-Fi enabled devices, such as laptops, smartphones and PDAs, can surf the Web, check any e-mail, Instant Message, access their corporate VPN and more. Plus, Gogo includes free access to valuable online content from The Wall Street Journal® and Frommer’s®. For more information about Gogo, please visit http://www.gogoinflight.com/.
Delta Air Lines operates service to more worldwide destinations than any airline with Delta and Delta Connection flights to 312 destinations in 61 countries. Delta has added more international capacity than any major U.S. airline during the last two years and is the leader across the Atlantic with flights to 44 trans-Atlantic markets. To Latin America and the Caribbean, Delta offers 393 weekly flights to 47 destinations. Delta’s marketing alliances also allow customers to earn and redeem SkyMiles on more than 16,000 flights offered by SkyTeam and other partners. Delta is a founding member of SkyTeam, a global airline alliance that provides customers with extensive worldwide destinations, flights and services. Including its SkyTeam and worldwide codeshare partners, Delta offers flights to 500 worldwide destinations in 105 countries. Customers can check in for flights, print boarding passes, check bags and flight status at delta.com.