British Airways and Gogo's new Wi-Fi service will allow Netflix streaming on 118 planes

  • BA's parent company has agreed a deal with service provider Gogo
  • New satellite-based broadband system will have speeds up to 70Mbps 
  • Passengers will be able to stream programmes on their own devices

British Airways passengers will finally be able to stream Netflix films, browse the internet or post Instagram snaps at 30,000ft starting next year.

Wi-Fi will be available on 118 of the flag carrier’s planes by 2019 in a deal signed this week between its parent company, International Airlines Group, and Chicago-based Gogo.

Gogo’s satellite-based 2Ku technology promises internet speeds of up to 70Mbps – fast enough to stream Netflix or Amazon Prime programming on their own devices or even video chat with someone on the ground via Skype or FaceTime, although those services could be blocked.

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British Airways will install Wi-Fi on 118 of its planes, including Airbus A380 aircraft, starting next year

British Airways will install Wi-Fi on 118 of its planes, including Airbus A380 aircraft, starting next year

IAG TO INSTALL WI-FI ON 90% OF ITS LONG-HAUL AIRCRAFT 

Airline

British Airways

British Airways

British Airways

British Airways 

British Airways

British Airways 

Iberia

Iberia

Aer Lingus 

Aircraft

Boeing 747-400

Boeing 777-200

Boeing 777-300

Boeing 787-8

Boeing 787-8/9

Airbus A380-800

Airbus A340-600

Airbus A330-300

Boeing 757-200 

Number of aircraft

18

46

12

8

22

12

7

8

Source: International Airlines Group 

It is not yet known how much passengers will have to pay to connect to the service, which is linked to satellites around the world.

Gogo currently sells 24-hour global internet passes for $28 (£19) and monthly global multi-airline passes for $80 (£55).

IAG will become the first European airline group to use the technology on aircraft such as the Airbus A380, the world’s largest passenger jet, and the Boeing 787.

Gogo Wi-Fi will also be installed on four Aer Lingus planes and up to 15 long-haul aircraft operated by Iberia – two other airlines owned by IAG, a British-Spanish multinational.

Gogo's satellite-based 2Ku technology (pictured) promises internet speeds of up to 70Mbps

Gogo's satellite-based 2Ku technology (pictured) promises internet speeds of up to 70Mbps

By 2019, 90 per cent of IAG’s long-haul fleet, or 137 aircraft, will be connected to Wi-Fi.

Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines announced this week it will use the 2Ku system on more than 600 of its planes, while Virgin Atlantic previously announced its commitment to the service.

While it may not match home or workplace broadband speeds, Gogo insists its next-generation 2Ku system can match or exceed the bandwidth of other in-flight Wi-Fi systems anywhere on the planet.

The system received certification from the Federal Aviation Authority in the US last November and has been tested on Aeromexico flights since then.

Speedy Wi-Fi has been one of passengers’ biggest demands in recent years.

Willie Walsh, IAG’s chief executive, said: ‘Global connectivity is something they demand and we are providing high-quality connections with innovative technology solutions to improve the travel experience.’

With high product and installation costs, UK airlines have been slow to introduce Wi-Fi on their planes, choosing to wait for newer technology that features faster speeds and lighter equipment.

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