Air New Zealand begins GX Aviation inflight Wi-Fi rollout

Air New Zealand has started trialling its new inflight Wi-Fi service on one of its long-haul Boeing 777-300 aircraft, powered by Inmarsat’s high-speed GX Aviation.

The airline is rolling out Wi-Fi capability across its international jet fleet, beginning with the 777-300 fleet. Further Wi-Fi enabled aircraft will become available over the next couple of months.

Utilising Inmarsat’s global GX satellite constellation, Air New Zealand has partnered with Panasonic Avionics as the in-cabin technology supplier.

Customer feedback

Air New Zealand Chief Digital Officer Avi Golan says the airline has been 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.

“We’re launching Inflight Wi-Fi as a trial initially in order to gather customer feedback and ensure it meets the needs of our customers before we roll it out across our international jet fleet.

“The service will be available progressively with the installation of inflight Wi-Fi on our Boeing 777-300 fleet expected to be completed by June 2018 and our Boeing 777-200 fleet rolling out from April next year.

Best in class

“The trial will not only test the technical aspects of the service, it will also gather feedback on pricing options.  Going forward, customers will be able to choose to sign up for different timeframes and have the ability to pay in a variety of ways, including with Airpoints Dollars™, as we look to offer a best in class connected inflight experience.

“Looking ahead, we’re keen to actively explore new content opportunities and will also make Air New Zealand’s friendly chatbot, Oscar, available to help assist passengers to resolve any travel related questions during their journey,” says Mr Golan.

Inmarsat Aviation President Philip Balaam says the introduction of GX Aviation inflight broadband on Air New Zealand’s aircraft will mark an exciting new era in the airline’s passenger experience.

“Air New Zealand is renowned for its innovative service offering and during this inflight Wi-Fi trial, passengers will experience first-hand how our advanced next-generation technology will keep them connected in the skies, enhancing this already great service.”