In-Flight Internet Returns Onboard Lufthansa Flights

German airline Lufthansa is set to re-introduce its inflight broadband service FlyNet. From the middle of 2010, passengers will be able to enjoy communications options on-par with powerful wireless hotspots or upmarket hotels onboard the airline’s long-haul flights by logging on the network using their computers or GSM/GPRS-enabled devices from any point in the aircraft.


Partnering with Panasonic Avionics Corporation, Lufthansa aims to install FlyNet on a major part of its intercontinental aircraft fleet within the first year of operation for the service. The improved FlyNet allows passengers to not only surf the internet wirelessly, but also send and receive emails, text messages and transfer data via their smartphones. Lufthansa is focusing on the high-bandwidth service to facilitate web surfing, file transfer and Virtual Private Networks (VPN), which will benefit business travellers who need to catch up on work whilst in the air.


Specific prices for the use of FlyNet has not yet been determined by Lufthansa, but the Cologne-based airline has plans to introduce different pricing models, ranging from an hourly rate to a monthly flat rate. Passengers may also be able to utilize their frequent flyer miles for the use of the service.


FlyNet was first introduced by the airline in January 2003, before being withdrawn at the end of 2006 by Lufthansa’s then-partner Connexion by Boeing. 69 of Lufthansa’s long-haul aircraft were fitted with the system, which had approximately 30,000 users each month. Lufthansa’s re-introduction of FlyNet follows similar services offered or planned by its competitors, including American Airlines, British Airways, Delta Airlines and Virgin America.


Today, Lufthansa operates a fleet of Airbus A330, A340 and Boeing 747 on intercontinental flights from Dusseldorf, Frankfurt and Munich. The airline is set to take delivery of the double-deck Airbus A380 in early 2010.


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