Delta Air Lines is to begin offering in-flight Internet service on its long-haul international fleet of more than 150 aircraft.
The expanded Wi-Fi service will use satellites to provide coverage internationally and will complement the existing air-to-ground service already provided by Gogo for aircraft flying within the domestic U.S.
Delta already operates the world’s largest Wi-Fi-equipped fleet of aircraft with more than 3,000 flights daily, including its entire fleet of 550 domestic mainline aircraft. More than 800 Delta aircraft, including all Delta Connection two-class regional jets, are equipped with in-flight Wi-Fi service offering more than 400,000 customers per day access to the internet above 10,000 feet.
The international service will use high-bandwidth Ku-band capacity satellites to provide global coverage. When complete in 2015, Delta will operate approximately 1,000 Wi-Fi-equipped aircraft in its worldwide fleet.
“Delta’s advancements in technology have been a key component to our improvements in the customer travel experience and have been cited by J.D. Power and Associates and PC World magazine as important aspects of travel,” said Tim Mapes, Delta’s senior vice president – Marketing.
“With our expansion of international Wi-Fi options across our fleet, Delta customers will be able to stay connected throughout their journey.”
Gogo’s president and CEO, Michael Small said: “As a company, we believe Gogo has presented Delta a distinct advantage for global services. Passengers aboard Delta will now have one point of access for account service and access to 24/7 customer service in air, on the ground and around the globe. From an airline perspective, Gogo plans to provide installation service for numerous connectivity technologies, customer billing support and bandwidth management, making Gogo a truly turnkey in-flight connectivity and in-flight digital entertainment provider for commercial airline operators around the world.”
The expansion of in-flight Wi-Fi to Delta’s transoceanic fleet is the latest in the airline’s more than $3 billion investment in enhanced global products, services and airport facilities through 2013. In addition to Wi-Fi improvements, Delta has added more First Class seats and in-flight entertainment to its domestic product; offering full flat-bed BusinessElite seats on its entire international widebody fleet; recently completed the system-wide roll-out of Economy Comfort on all two-class aircraft; adding personal, in-seat entertainment for both BusinessElite and Economy class customers on all long-haul international flights; updating Delta Sky Clubs throughout the system; and upgrading new terminal facilities for international customers at its two largest global gateways – the new international terminal in Atlanta now open and the expanded international terminal opening next May at New York-JFK.