The Push To Bring Wi-Fi Onboard International Flights
By Greg Shillinglaw, Sep 27, 2018
Most airlines offer Wi-Fi during domestic flights these days, but it's a different story when it comes to flying internationally. Service on trips abroad can be spotty and is not widely available across all airlines. That's starting to change, however, as more carriers bring the Internet onboard international routes with help from satellite services.
One of these airlines is La Compagnie. The small French all business-class airline announced this week that it has partnered with a global communications firm to equip two brand-new A321neo aircraft with high-speed Wi-Fi capabilities. La Compagnie has teamed up with Viasat and plans to roll out the in-flight service in April 2019, offering free unlimited connectivity to all passengers.
"Viasat's in-flight connectivity has unmatched speed, quality and affordability so everyone onboard can experience the internet just like they do in their home or office," said Jean Charles Périno, executive vice president of sales and marketing for La Compagnie. "Business-class democratization is in our DNA. This is a perfect match with Viasat's solution: we will be offering this unlimited Wi-Fi access at a fraction of the cost of competitive solutions, following our low-fare approach. We are proud, as a small airline, to have the best in the market to offer to our passengers."
La Compagnie says it selected Viasat because its unique satellite design has the ability to meet connectivity demands even in high-density areas, like major airport hubs and congested air corridors. The airline also says Internet service during flights will rival connectivity standards on the ground and allow passengers to go beyond traditional entertainment typically found on planes. The company's two A321neo aircraft are scheduled to operate between New York and Paris starting in April.
"La Compagnie is reinventing the business-class experience, giving passengers uncompromised service quality and high-end perks, which include having Viasat's best-in-class Wi-Fi service on board," said Don Buchman, vice president and general manager, commercial aviation at Viasat. "Given La Compagnie's primary flight routes over the Atlantic, they will use our latest satellite system, ViaSat-2, giving passengers an optimal connectivity experience—with industry-best speeds, performance and reliability—gate-to-gate."
Launched in July 2014, La Compagnie is an exclusively business-class airline operating regularly scheduled transatlantic flights between New York (Newark International Airport) and Paris (Paris Orly Airport). Flights offer amenities including personal tablets, lay-flat seats, Caudalie cosmetic kits and a unique dining experience with fresh menu items from renowned New York and Paris-based chefs.