Japan Airlines will become the first Japanese carrier to offer in-flight internet as it ties up with American company Gogo to give their passengers access to broadband connectivity during domestic flights. JAL will begin using the technology by the middle of next year for their 77 aircrafts that fly within the country.
Aside from being the first in Japan, JAL will also be one of, if not the first to use Gogo’s new satellite operating system that uses the Ku-band frequency. Previously, the system that the Illinois-based company used for their in-flight connectivity was ground-based, but now they will be using satellites and antenna that will be mounted in the aircraft that swivels as the plane moves which will give the passengers better broadband access even as they fly over oceans. Delta Airlines is the other carrier that might be offering it to their passengers first.
JAL, the country’s largest carrier has been facing challenges as of late, with the grounding of their fleet of Boeing 787 Dreamliners for almost six months and now with the recent issue of rival All Nippon Airways (ANA) receiving more coveted extra landing spots at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport. Services like in-flight internet can give them a distinct advantage as the Japanese always want to be connected to the Internet and their social networks.
[ via Reuters ]