While many international airlines are still mulling over introducing wi-fi on board, Air France and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines have gone ahead with it.
On 29 May, the European airlines operated their first inflight connectivity flights with wi-fi on board.
AIR FRANCE KLM, the result of a merger between AIR FRANCE and KLM in 2004, is one of the leading European air transport groups.
According to the two airlines, the first wi-fi enabled flights are to New York for Air France and to Panama for KLM.
The airlines said in a statement on 30 May that the new service will allow customers to remain connected with the world by being able to send text messages and e-mails and surf the Internet during their flight.
The airlines is offering online access to their in-flight travelers in partnership with Panasonic Avionics.
Both Air France and KLM will conduct a trial phase throughout the rest of 2013 on two Boeing 777-300s, said sources at the airlines company.
During that time, customers can connect to the Internet using their wi-fi enabled smartphones, laptops or tablets at a fixed rate and use their mobile phones for text messages or email, no matter what travel class they are in. The two wi-fi equipped aircraft will operate on several long-haul destinations during the trial.
During the pilot phase, the airlines is offering hourly and full-flight fees: EUR 10.95 per hour or EUR 19.95 for the full flight, applicable for all classes. Travellers can pay for their Internet access by credit card and mobile phone usage (for text and data) will be billed to the phone users according to their own roaming agreements.
Wireless service - whether the on-board portal or satellite Internet - will commence once the flight has reached 20,000 feet, shortly after take-off.
"By jointly launching inflight wi-fi and data transmission, Air France and KLM are continuing to innovate," said Alexandre de Juniac, chairman and CEO of Air France. "This inflight connectivity test phase on long-haul flights perfectly integrates our ongoing strategy to offer our customers even more new products and services."
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