Swiss International Airlines’ new Boeing 777-300ERs, the first of which are now in regular service on the airline’s intercontinental network, offer inflight connectivity in all three seating classes and says its data packages are proving popular.
According to the airline’s own blog, travellers can now surf or send e-mails on their laptop, tablet or smartphone device during their flight.
Swiss is also currently trialling a new roaming telephone service under its Internet on Board programme.
According to the blog, Anna Rothholz of the Swiss Customer Connectivity team, said: “In-flight connectivity is something customers clearly want.
“So, while this feature is still largely in its infancy at many airlines, we decided to offer it from the outset with our new fleet flagship, the Boeing 777.”
Anna’s colleague Falko Leonhardt added: “Ultimately, we want all our Swiss aircraft to offer our guests and our crews the kind of end-to-end connectivity that they’ve long enjoyed on the ground.”
The airline says that before that vision becomes a reality, there are still a number of issues to resolve. Its says “the challenges are substantial, the field is evolving fast, and much of the current work is being done on essentially a greenfield site”.
“What we’re having at the moment are various technical discussions and clarifications,” sais Andreas Bösch, who is responsible for eOperations Projects within the young and interdisciplinary Customer Connectivity team.
“At Swiss, in contrast to other airlines, we’re putting a particular emphasis on the whole construct that we’re using on our Triple Sevens.”
After considering various approaches, the team decided to meet the evidently wide range of Swiss customers’ online needs aloft by offering three different inflight connectivity data packages at varying prices.
“We can’t provide in-flight internet connectivity for free yet,” Falko Leonhardt explains. “So it was important to us to offer our customers a fairly priced product that also keeps our costs under control.”
The Customer Connectivity team have been keenly gathering the first feedback from the new service since it was introduced with the Boeing 777s entering service early this year.
“The data packages have proved very popular,” says Anna Rothholz.
“And the roaming telephone facility hasn’t prompted any complaints from passengers yet, either.”
“Get Connected” reported in January that its inflight connectivity is being provided via Panasonic Avionics’ Ku-band GCS service with AeroMobile handling phone connections.
Swiss offers a choice of three data packages for its inflight internet option. The 20 MB Swiss Connect data package, costing CHF 9, is intended for those wishing to check their emails or visit a few websites.
The 50 MB package at CHF 19 is more for travellers seeking to surf their social networks or use the internet to work.
It says the 120 MB package at CHF 39 provides even more flexibility and the opportunity to make almost full use (apart from streaming) of the internet’s scope and possibilities.
Swiss also provides its first-class customers with a 50 MB Swiss Connect data package free of charge.
Swiss said in January that the new internet-connected Boeing 777-300ERs will be gradually deployed from the start of the 2016 summer schedules onwards, primarily on services to Hong Kong, Bangkok, Los Angeles, San Francisco, São Paulo and Tel Aviv.