High speed in-flight Wi-Fi is to be introduced across International Airlines Group short-haul fleets from next year.
Up to 341 aircraft will be fitted with next generation Inmarsat connectivity services to provide a 4G broadband network, giving internet access to passengers.
These include 132 British Airways, 125 Vueling, 45 Iberia and 39 Aer Lingus Airbus A320-family aircraft.
The first short-haul aircraft equipped with Wi-Fi connectivity – a BA A321- will be in service next summer. Aer Lingus, Iberia and Vueling aircraft will follow later in 2017.
IAG expects By 2019, 90% of its airlines’ fleets to be fitted with high quality connectivity by 2019.
Passengers will have bandwidth capacity to use multiple devices at the same time and connection speeds will be similar to what they have at home, IAG claims
The latest Inmarsat technology will offer passengers broadband internet access on their own mobile devices to use email, check social media and stream videos.
IAG chief executive Willie Walsh said: “We are giving our customers the fastest connectivity you can get on any aircraft.
“Having announced Wi-Fi for long-haul flights earlier this year we are now equipping our airlines’ short-haul fleets with in-flight broadband access.
“Connectivity is essential because it’s what our customers demand and IAG will be the first European airline group to offer high-quality air to ground Wi-Fi on short haul flights.”
Inmarsat Aviation president Leo Mondale said: “The European Aviation Network is a game changer for the millions of airline passengers that have been cut-off from fast, reliable and consistent broadband access during flights in Europe.
“It will provide IAG airlines with unprecedented high-speed capacity by combining the strengths of Inmarsat’s satellite connectivity with a powerful ground network operated by our partner Deutsche Telekom.”
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