Etihad Airways has started the rollout of its in-flight WiFi services.
Labeled “Etihad Wi-Fly,” the inflight broadband Internet and mobile connectivity service is powered by the Panasonic Avionics Global Communications Suite.
An Etihad Airbus A330-200 took flight today for Brussels, offering high-speed broadband Internet and data and mobile phone services.
Etihad expects to have 10'‘Etihad Wi-Fly’-equipped aircraft by the end of March, 2013.
The airline plans to have every single Etihad Airways aircraft equipped for inflight connectivity by the end of 2014.
Etihad Airways intends to outfit its narrow-body aircraft with data and mobile phone connectivity, while the wide-body aircraft will be additionally equipped for broadband Internet services.
Etihad Airways' CEO James Hogan described the Wi-Fly services as an outcome of the, 10-year $1 billion agreement the airline signed with Panasonic Avionics in November 2011.
Etihad WiFi - Pricey
In an ideal world, WiFi Internet services would be part of every flight and come at no extra cost.
Alas, in the real world in-flight Internet access is a pricey affair.
Etihad's Wi-Fly service costs $13.95 for one hour and $24.95 for 24 hours.
First Class passengers will get complimentary access to the Wi-Fly services.
Mobile telephone usage will be charged based on the international roaming rates of guests’ mobile network providers.