Today Air France and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines will operate their first inflight connectivity flights with Wi-Fi on board. 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. On our specially designed inflight website we also offer a broad range of free and up to date services including live television news and sports channels, relevant airline and destination information.
In partnership with Panasonic Avionics, Air France and KLM will conduct a trial phase throughout the rest of 2013 on two Boeing 777-300s. 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 we will offer hourly and full-flight fees: EUR 10.95 per hour or EUR 19.95 for the full flight, applicable for all classes. These fees are in line with industry average. Travellers can pay for their internet access by credit card. Mobile phone usage (for text and data) will be billed to the phone users according to their own roaming agreements. Access to the inflight website will be free of charge.
Wireless service — whether the on-board portal or satellite internet — will commence once the flight has reached 20,000 feet, shortly after take-off.
With the inflight connectivity test, Air France and KLM are adapting to their customers’ new travel habits, while also surprising them with new services. During this test phase, customers will be asked to share their comments, suggestions and expectations and therefore contribute to the improvement of these services.
Connectivity is a significant investment in a brand new area where technology is still under development. Being permanently connected is part of our customers’ daily lives. We are aiming to define the best possible product and system to fit their needs and wishes. We’re confident that, in the future, all our passengers will be able to remain connected when travelling to and from our hubs at Paris Charles de Gaulle and Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. Peter Hartman, President & CEO of KLM