Singapore Airlines have launched their In-Flight Connectivity programs that are part of an elaborate 50 Million dollar plan to offer mobile data and Internet services to its passengers, even while they are flying 35,000 feet in the air. Earlier, Singapore Airlines had made a test launch of this program in a few of their aircrafts. Following the positive response, they are now making this available across 14 of their current fleet of aircrafts including all of their Airbus A340-500s. Incidentally all of these Airbus A340-500s are being used on their longest routes, from Singapore to Newark and Los Angeles in the US. Countries such as Australia are also being explored with the necessary regulatory permissions being sought.
Passengers can access the Internet and use their Smartphones to send or receive emails using this service. Those with a GSM handset can send out text messages to their contacts. As yet, due to regulatory issues, this service is not available while flying over all countries. Passengers can check Singapore Airline’s in-flight magazine the KrisWorld to verify where they will get access to this service when flying.
Singapore Airlines is planning to roll out this service across all their long haul routes and in the following aircrafts – Airbus A380-800, A340-500 and Boeing 777-300ER. OnAir, which is providing the technology, has been entrusted with the job.
How much customers have to shell out for using this access? Starting today Singapore Airlines is going to launch a promotional plan for accessing this in-flight data services. Previous pricing of US$29.95 for 26 MB and US$11.95 for 10 MB has been reduced to US$25 for 30 MB and US$10 for 10 MB respectively. Additionally Singapore Airlines has entered into an agreement with SingTel, the result of which is an across the board 40% discount for roaming when SingTel customers access GPRS or other data services. SingTel customers are also going to enjoy a 20% discount for all incoming and outgoing voice calls. All discounts are going to be valid through March 31, 2013.
Mr. Tan Pee Teck, Sr. Vice President of SIA’s Products & Services strikes a positive note when he says that there has been a paradigm shift in passenger preferences about in-flight entertainment and connectivity. As such with these changes SIA is ensuring that they are abreast with what customers are looking for in their in-flight experiences. In the months to follow SIA is going to invest additional money to revamp their other in-flight offerings, keeping in tune with their goal to stay ahead as the leader in the market for innovative product offerings. SIA is expected to revamp their in-flight entertainment hardware also adding additional content and other offerings. An announcement in this regard is expected to be made in the following weeks.