China Airlines has recently announced its intention to bring high-speed Internet connectivity to travelers on its commercial flights in and out of Taiwan. A letter of intent between the two companies calls for the broadband data and entertainment service to be installed on the China Airlines fleet of aircraft, starting with long-haul aircraft, beginning in late 2004. China Airlines will be the first in Taiwan to introduce this cutting-edge system.
Scott Carson, president, Connexion by Boeing commented: "With the ability of modern jetliners to directly link cities that can be 16 hours or more apart, keeping in touch becomes increasingly important for productivity as well as for the traveler's ability to maintain a healthy balance between work commitments and obligations to family, friends and community."
Connexion by Boeing is a mobile information services provider that brings broadband Internet, data and entertainment connectivity to mobile travelers. In addition to China Airlines, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS) and Japan Airlines have signed on as customers for the fastest available in-flight Internet, data and entertainment service. Singapore Airlines and All Nippon Airways also have announced their intent to install the Connexion by Boeing service on their long-haul fleets. By installing antenna on aircraft, Connexion systems offer high-speed Internet connections to in-flight users via satellite and ground operation center. In the future, China Airlines passengers using laptop computers with wireless network cards in either First, Dynasty or Economy class can enjoy high speed access to Internet by paying access fee in an office-like environment.
Initially, the agreement with Connexion will cover the China Airlines long-haul planes such as B747-400 and A340-300 aircraft. Plans call for the service to be extended the service to other aircraft at a later date. The agreement outlines connectivity on certain long-haul flights between Taipei and Europe, and Taipei and North America.