Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) will upgrade its in-flight Wi-Fi service to offer faster speeds and expanded coverage enabling international passengers better connectivity when travelling to the U.S..
Delta has completed installation of Ku-band satellite Wi-Fi on more than one-third of its international fleet and will be 85 percent complete by the end of 2015. In mid-2016, its entire international fleet, including all of its Boeing 777, 767, 747, Airbus A330 and transoceanic Boeing 757 aircraft operating on long-haul routes will offer Wi-Fi. The addition of in-flight Internet on nearly 150 aircraft will expand the number of Delta’s aircraft equipped with Wi-Fi to approximately 1,000 to offer customers the most global Wi-Fi access of any carrier. 2Ku service will be offered on Airbus A330-900Neo and A350-900 aircraft when they enter the Delta fleet.
The latest upgrades will extend Wi-Fi access beyond the shores of the North America forcustomers traveling between the U. S. and Latin America or the Caribbean. Gogo (NASDAQ:GOGO) will begin updating Delta’s long-haul domestic aircraft currently using air-to-ground technology with satellite-based technology starting in 2016.
In addition to the international offering, Delta will support Gogo’s efforts to develop the industry’s newest technology with Gogo’s next generation air-to-ground service for its short-haul aircraft, which will feature faster connection at broadband speeds. Today’s announcement is the latest step Delta is taking to improve the travel experience and continue leading the industry with innovative technology solutions for its customers.
“Global connectivity equals global productivity and business travelers want greater bandwidth, faster speeds and broader network coverage,” said Tim Mapes, Senior Vice President – Marketing. “That’s exactly what they will get when they fly Delta.”
Satellite-based 2Ku upgrades
More than 250 of Delta’s aircraft on long-haul domestic, Latin American and Caribbean routes will have access to Wi-Fi when they fly over water or outside existing air-to-ground service areas with the upgrades to 2Ku. The satellite-based system will be installed on:
2Ku service will also be offered on Delta’s Airbus A321 aircraft when they enter the Delta’s fleet beginning in 2016.
Air-to-ground technology improvements
Short-haul domestic aircraft in Delta’s fleet with air-to-ground systems will be upgraded with Gogo’s next generation air-to-ground technology as it becomes available. Delta’s 717-200, MD-88 and MD-90 aircraft are slated to get the system and will also offer significantly upgraded speeds.
Customers can access free and paid streaming entertainment options through Delta Studio on any of Delta’s Wi-Fi-equipped domestic flights using their own portable electronic devices. With expanded connectivity options, Delta Studio will be available on Caribbean and Latin American routes operated by domestic aircraft. Delta Studio was introduced in 2014 and features a new customer portal with improved navigation for accessing entertainment options. Customers in First Class and Economy Comfort receive complimentary access to premium content while customers in the Economy have access to a wide selection of complimentary entertainment.
Delta already operates the world’s largest Wi-Fi-equipped fleet, with more than 3,500 Internet connected flights daily, including its entire fleet of 620 domestic mainline aircraft. More than 940 Delta aircraft, including all Delta Connection two-class regional jets and more than 35 percent of its international fleet are equipped with in-flight Wi-Fi service offering more than 370,000 customers per day access while in the air.