International Airlines Group (IAG) will introduce high speed inflight Wi-Fi across its airlines' shorthaul fleets having reached agreement with Inmarsat to be the launch customer of its next generation European air to ground connectivity.
Up to 341 shorthaul aircraft will be fitted with Inmarsat's next generation connectivity services to provide a 4G broadband network, giving customers the internet access they expect on the ground while in the air. These include 132 British Airways, 125 Vueling, 45 Iberia and 39 Aer Lingus A320 family aircraft.
Inmarsat's latest technology will offer customers broadband internet access on their own mobile devices to use email, check social media and stream videos. Passengers will have bandwidth capacity to use multiple devices at the same time and connection speeds will be similar to what they have at home.
Willie Walsh, IAG's chief executive, said: "We are giving our customers the fastest connectivity you can get on any aircraft. Having announced Wi-Fi for longhaul flights earlier this year we are now equipping our airlines' shorthaul fleets with inflight broadband access. Connectivity is essential because it's what our customers demand and IAG will be the first European airline group to offer high-quality air to ground Wi-Fi on shorthaul flights."
Leo Mondale, President of Inmarsat Aviation, said: "The European Aviation Network is a game changer for the millions of airline passengers that have been cut-off from fast, reliable and consistent broadband access during flights in Europe. It will provide IAG airlines with unprecedented high-speed capacity by combining the strengths of Inmarsat's satellite connectivity with a powerful ground network operated by our partner Deutsche Telekom. We look forward to working with Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia and Vueling on the rollout".
The first shorthaul aircraft equipped with Wi-Fi connectivity – a British Airways A321- will be in service next summer. Aer Lingus, Iberia and Vueling aircraft will follow later in 2017.
By 2019, 90 per cent of IAG airlines' fleets will be fitted with high quality connectivity.
2 November 2016
Inmarsat plc is the leading provider of global mobile satellite communications services. Since 1979, Inmarsat has been providing reliable voice and high-speed data communications to governments, enterprises and other organizations, with a range of services that can be used on land, at sea or in the air. Inmarsat operates in more than 60 locations around the world, with a presence in the major ports and centres of commerce on every continent. Inmarsat is listed on the London Stock Exchange (ISAT.L). For more information, please visit www.inmarsat.com.
International Airlines Group is one of the world's largest airline groups with 541 aircraft flying to 274 destinations and carrying almost 95 million passengers each year. It is the third largest group in Europe and the sixth largest in the world, based on revenue.
Formed in January 2011, IAG is the parent company of Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia and Vueling. It is a Spanish registered company with shares traded on the London Stock Exchange and Spanish Stock Exchanges. The corporate head office for IAG is in London, UK.
IAG combines leading airlines in Ireland, the UK and Spain, enabling them to enhance their presence in the aviation market while retaining their individual brands and current operations. The airlines' customers benefit from a larger combined network for both passengers and cargo and a greater ability to invest in new products and services through improved financial robustness.
The airline industry is moving gradually towards consolidation though some regulatory restrictions still prevail. IAG's mission is to play its full role in future industry consolidation both on a regional and global scale.
British Airways and Iberia are members of the oneworld alliance.
IAG - +44 208 564 2810
Inmarsat – +44 20 7728 1935/1942