Singapore Airlines has formally launched their In-Flight Connectivity system this week as part of a US$50 million programme to bring Internet and mobile data services to customers, even when flying at 35,000ft.
Following a recent soft launch on a limited number of aircraft, In-Flight Connectivity is today available on 14 aircraft in the fleet, including all five Airbus A340-500s which are deployed on the world’s longest non-stop flights, between Singapore and both Newark and Los Angeles. Services have also been extended to more markets such as Australia, for which regulatory approvals had not previously been obtained.
Travellers can surf the Internet, send and receive emails on smartphones and other electronic devices, and send and receive SMS text messages with GSM-compatible mobile phones.
Through a partnership with leading connectivity provider OnAir, the technology will be progressively rolled out across all of SIA’s long-haul Airbus A380-800, A340-500 and Boeing 777-300ER aircraft over the next two years.
Services are offered on routes on which equipped aircraft are deployed, subject to regulatory approvals from individual countries.
Promotional price plans are also being introduced from today for wireless Internet access. The promotional prices, which will last until 30Nov12, are US$25 for 30 megabytes of data and US$10 for 10 megabytes of data. The previous plans cost US$29.95 for 26 megabytes and US$11.95 for 10 megabytes.
A joint promotion with SingTel also enables SingTel Mobile subscribers to enjoy discounted roaming rates of up to 40% for in-flight text messaging and GPRS data services. The discounted roaming rates are displayed on SingTel’s corporate website and the joint promotion will last until 31Mar13.
In addition to the US$50 million investment in In-Flight Connectivity services, work is underway to bring the next generation of in-flight entertainment offerings to our customers. This will include the latest hardware systems with new screen and handset technology, in addition to much more video and audio content. Details are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.