Etihad CEO: inflight wi-fi Internet on Europe flights "this year"

By John Walton, October 15 2011
Etihad CEO: inflight wi-fi Internet on Europe flights

IN BRIEF | Etihad passengers will see inflight wi-fi Internet aboard the airline's flights later this year, which is a boon for business travellers on Etihad's own flights and on Virgin Australia's codeshare services to Europe.

However, you won't yet be able to work during the nearly fifteen hour flight between Australia and Etihad's hub at Abu Dhabi.

Wi-fi won't initially be available on the longer leg of connecting flights from Australia to Europe in the "end of the year" timeframe.

Two Airbus A330 planes, which CEO James Hogan announced "will operate between Abu Dhabi and cities like Frankfurt, Geneva, London, Munich and Paris," will be the first to receive onboard wi-fi. Those aren't the Airbus A340s that fly to Australia.

Still, the shorter leg is up to seven hours long (to London), so there's the prospect of getting some serious work done -- or at least catching up with emails on board before landing at your European destination.

Etihad's Hogan also said that wi-fi will be rolled out across the airline's other planes too: "We are right at the point now of settling on a fleet-wide connectivity solution for the years to come," he said.

John Walton

Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.

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