In May of this year, IAG (the parent company of British Airways, Iberia, and Aer Lingus) signed a deal with Gogo to install their 2Ku satellite technology on 137 longhaul planes. This includes up to 118 British Airways, 15 Iberia, and four Aer Lingus planes.
I had long criticized British Airways for their lack of Wi-Fi on longhaul flights, given that most other airlines had at least announced the intention to install such a service, even if it hadn’t been done. IAG expects to complete the installation of Wi-Fi on 137 planes by 2019, though that schedule is always subject to change.
Well, it looks like IAG is going all out, because they’ve just announced that Wi-Fi is coming to short-haul planes as well.
Per TravelDailyNews, it has just been announced that up to 341 short-haul aircraft will be fitted with Inmarsat’s next generation connectivity service, providing a 4G broadband network. This includes installation on Airbus A320 family aircraft, including 132 British Airways, 125 Vueling, 45 Iberia, and 39 Aer Lingus aircraft.
Apparently the first British Airways A321 to feature Wi-Fi will be in service next summer, with Aer Lingus, Iberia, and Vueling aircraft also expected to start the configuration process in 2017. A bulk of the installations should be done by 2019.
Do keep in mind that this technology is primarily for mobile devices, which is probably what’s most practical anyway. Given that British Airways is squeezing even more seats into their short-haul planes, there won’t be enough legroom anyway to open up your laptop. 😉