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EL AL to launch internet on board its flights to Europe

Staff writer |
EL AL announced an agreement with ViaSat to provide internet on flights. The new service will be launched within one year on 737 flights to Europe.

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EL AL will be the first airline to operate the system on flights between Israel and Europe.

EL AL CEO Elyezer Shkedy said: "As part of the airline's commercial strategy, installation of internet service on European routes will significantly improve the quality of service and the flight experience for EL AL customers. The new service is in addition to innovations in inflight entertainment, including a streaming system within the coming months".

"Enabling passengers to connect to the internet inflight is nothing less than a technological and service revolution," EL AL said.

EL AL passengers who use portable computers, tablets or smartphones will be able to take advantage of internet surfing using a new generation of high-capacity Ka-band satellite technology from ViaSat Inc. EL AL passengers will be offered a choice of surfing packages, including a free option, so that during their EL AL flight passengers will be able to remain connected for work or pleasure.

ViaSat's chairman and CEO Mark Dankberg: "EL AL is a great airline partner for this first European launch of Exede In The Air fast internet service. Our new level of inflight internet performance complements the personal and user-friendly flight experience offered by EL AL and we expect enthusiastic responses from EL AL passengers similar to those we experienced when we inaugurated our service in the USA."

This move follows EL AL's announcement several months ago introducing an innovative infotainment system on the airline's 737 and 767 aircraft. The new system will broadcast entertainment programs based on streaming to the customers' personal devices, such as smartphones, tablets or portable computers during the flight.

The wireless system, which will become operative on EL AL flights in the coming months, is called BoardConnect and was developed by Lufthansa Systems. It is user-friendly and utilizes standard software solutions allowing passengers full control in choosing from a broad range on-demand audio and video, flight information and more.

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