From early summer 2016, Lufthansa will be the first network airline in Europe to offer broadband on board its short and medium-haul flights. This will enable passengers on continental flights and flights within Germany to enjoy the full freedom to communicate and to use the Internet with a wide bandwidth above the clouds. The first aircraft will be fitted with the new technology in early summer 2016.
The new service from Lufthansa and its technology partner Inmarsat is based on the most modern broadband satellite technology from Inmarsat’s Global Xpress network (Ka-band) and offers seamless, reliable coverage on short and medium-haul flights.
Inmarsat recently successfully launched the third satellite in this global constellation and Lufthansa will be its first aviation customer. The service will enable passengers to make the most of broadband Internet access on their own mobile devices via a wireless network. They will not only be able to use simple e-mail services, but also superior applications and even streaming. On top of all this, passengers will also be able to use their mobile phones to send and receive text messages and for the transfer of data based on their own mobile phone contract. Telephone calls on board, however, will still not be allowed due to customer preference.
Lufthansa operated the world’s first scheduled flight with broadband Internet access on 15th January 2003. Although it was increasing in popularity among passengers, this technically reliable broadband Internet connection via a wireless network had to be suspended in 2006 because the necessary satellites were no longer in operation. Since December 2010, Lufthansa has again been the first airline to offer broadband Internet access on its intercontinental flights. FlyNet® has been available on all 106 long-haul aircraft in the Lufthansa fleet since the beginning of this year. Lufthansa therefore boasts the world’s largest long-haul fleet with broadband Internet access.