Boeing Unplugs Connexion: End of In-flight Broadband?

Boeing Unplugs Connexion: End of In-flight Broadband?

In-flight broadband has been one of the few redeeming parts of flying long-haul to Europe in the past few years. In fact, I had taken to choosing routes where it was available in order to staying plugged in for at least part of my flights to and from Europe. SAS, lufthansa, Air China, E Al, Singapore Air, ANA, and Korean Air all offered it, as have some executive charter airlines. Now Boeing has gone and ruined it.

The aircraft maker announced yesterday it is getting out of in-fligh broadband business it started in 2000 because of a lack of customers, taking at $320 million charge along the way. It isn't entirely clear whether Connexion will disappear altogether or be sold to someone else.

Meanwhile, others have stepped in to the pending void to capture those customers, and airlines, who still have an interest in the amenity. ASiQ is one firm looking to provide a replacement.

IAG Blog has some good commentary, or in this case, post-mortem. Too much too soon at too high a cost is the bottom line. In-flight broadband won't die, it will just morph into a more cost-effective, multimedia delivery channel for airlines. With other flying conditions becoming worse, communications and entertainment are among the few avenues airlines have left for improving the customer experience.

| August 18th, 2006 | Posted in Wireless Access |

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