United Hits Milestone in Sat-based In-flight Wi-Fi with 100th Plane

By Jesse Sokolow on 14 October 2013
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A United Airlines 777 at Tokyo's Narita Airport

A United Airlines aircraft at Tokyo’s Narita Airport

United Airlines announced that it has installed satellite-based in-flight Internet on 100 aircraft as of Monday.  The Chicago-based airline is outfitting approximately 30 aircraft each month with satellite technology.  The 100th aircraft was an Airbus A320, according to Charles Hobart, a spokesman for the airline.

United said it expects to have nearly 200 of its aircraft equipped with satellite-powered Wi-Fi by the end of this year. According to United, it currently operates more aircraft with satellite-based in-flight Internet access on long-haul international routes than any other U.S. carrier.  The satellite-based system allows for in-flight connectivity on overseas flights, unlike air-to-ground systems that only support Internet access when flying over land.

Currently, United has in-flight Wi-Fi on 13 Boeing 747 aircraft, used on long-haul routes, as well as on more than half of its combined fleet of Airbus A319 and A320 aircraft.  It also has air-to-ground systems deployed on its Boeing 757s used for its p.s. trasncon service from New York to San Francisco and Los Angeles.

The airline also said it will begin installing satellite-based Wi-Fi on Boeing 737 jets later this year.

This fall, United will begin rolling out Wi-Fi-based in-flight entertainment systems in more than 200 aircraft.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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