Air New Zealand has launched its inflight connectivity service, powered by Inmarsat GX Aviation, and is charging NZ$40 (equivalent to roughly £20.45/US£27.78) per flight segment. The product has been in testing for selected customers since late 2017.
A New Zealand spokesperson said: “As this is a new service we’re continuing to explore customer demand, satisfaction and pricing options. Going forward we’ll be introducing a variety of ways for customers to pay, including with Airpoints Dollars™.
“We will also be looking to introduce more purchase options, such as offering the ability to purchase an hour of connectivity.”
Air New Zealand confirmed that inflight Wi-Fi is currently only available on four aircraft in the fleet – three Boeing 777-300 aircraft and one Boeing 777-200.
These aircraft are distinct as they feature a radome for the Honeywell JetWave antenna on top of the aircraft to connect to the Inmarsat Ka-band Global Xpress satellites.
Installation of GX Aviation Wi-Fi on the remainder of their 15 Boeing 777 aircraft as well as their 11 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner fleet is scheduled during 2018 and 2019.
Air New Zealand started trialling its new inflight Wi-Fi service on one of its long-haul Boeing 777-300 aircraft, powered by Inmarsat’s GX Aviation service, back in October 2017.
The airline said then that is was rolling out inflight connectivity capability across its international jet fleet, beginning with the 777-300.
When asked to outline the pricing plans for the service, Air New Zealand’s “Oscar” chatbot said: “It’s tough to predict which exact plane you’ll be scheduled on, but if you find yourself on a 777-300 or 777-200 jet you might just be lucky!
“These aircraft are the first to have Wi-Fi installed, and there are four planes that have it so far. They’re currently flying between Auckland and Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney. As well as Los Angeles, San Francisco, London, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Buenos Aires.
“If your flight will have Wi-Fi, you’ll get a notification from our app just before you board.
“You can choose to browse select sites for free or buy a full flight pass of unlimited Wi-Fi for one leg of your journey. Details and prices will be available on our Inflight Wi-Fi portal when you connect on the plane.”
Using Inmarsat’s global GX satellite constellation, Air New Zealand has also partnered with Panasonic Avionics as the in-cabin technology supplier.
Air New Zealand Chief Digital Officer Avi Golan said back in October 2017 that the airline was working closely with its partners to prepare for the launch of inflight Wi-Fi, which will enable customers to access email, social media channels, web browsing and go shopping while travelling.