The airberlin group has equipped the first two aircraft in its fleet with the new 'airberlin connect' Wi-Fi service. The two Airbus A320, registered D-ABNJ and OE-LEL, now boast a Wi-Fi system from Panasonic Avionics Corporation, so passengers can access the internet with their own smartphone, tablet or laptop during the flight.
In addition, passengers on short and medium-haul flights will enjoy an entertainment offering with TV series, movies and music available for streaming to their own device with the new Wi-Fi service. Passengers will be able to choose their own personal entertainment from more than 180 hours of media. On long-haul routes, passengers will continue to enjoy the RAVE in-seat entertainment system.
Wolfgang Prock-Schauer, CEO of airberlin, said: "With the new Wi-Fi service, our passengers can stay online during the flight and stay in touch with their families, friends and business partners. We will gradually expand the new service to almost the entire fleet. airberlin is the first German airline to offer in-flight internet access not only on long-haul flights, but also on short- and medium-haul flights."
Paul Margis, president and CEO for Panasonic Avionics Corporation, said “Wi-Fi is a vital part of the in-flight experience because travellers expect to be perpetually connected and because airlines want to leverage connectivity to improve operational efficiencies. With our eXConnect service, airberlin has chosen the industry’s most capable, platform-agnostic, and scalable broadband service available today.”
The first two aircraft equipped with airberlin connect will service the new Stuttgart-Abu Dhabi and Vienna-Abu Dhabi routes. The first flight from Stuttgart to Abu Dhabi takes off on 1 December 2014, bringing in-flight internet to passengers on this route for the first time.
On the new Vienna-Abu Dhabi connection from Austrian subsidiary NIKI, passengers will be able to use the new on-board Wi-Fi service as early as 24 November 2014.
airberlin offers various time and data packages for airberlin connect: for just €4.90, passengers get online above the clouds for 30 minutes, including 20Mb of data.
An hour of internet access, including 50Mb of data, costs €8.90. The price includes use of the entertainment selection, which is available for the entire duration of the flight at no additional cost, even after the package time or data limits are used up.
Passengers who wish to be online during an entire medium-haul flight can select the €13.90package, which includes 90Mb of data, while the Full Flight Package for long-haul flights costs €18.90, and includes 120Mb of data. Packages can be conveniently paid by credit card via the web browser on passengers' own mobile device or laptop.
On the new Stuttgart-Abu Dhabi and Vienna-Abu Dhabi connections, passengers can enjoy the entertainment offered by airberlin connect free of charge. Internet access during the entire flight to or from Abu Dhabi on these routes costs just €13.90, including 90Mb of data. airberlin plans to complete equipping its fleet within three years.