Scandinavian Airlines has signed a contract with Connexion by Boeing for the installation of wireless broadband on board. Installation will begin in February 2004 and the entire long-haul fleet will be equipped a year later.
Many customers want to be available while traveling and/or be able to work efficiently on board. All SAS passengers will be able to connect their portable PCs or PDAs and use Internet online, including, for example, streaming audio/video. Those who want to log on to their company’s intranet and send/receive e-mail with attachments via the Internet will also be able to do so more securely.
“The Nordic region is one of the world’s most IT-dense areas and the ability to communicate easily from the air was high on our passengers’ list of priorities,” says Jens Willumsen, who is responsible for Market & Product Management at Scandinavian Airlines. “This is why we have been working for a long time to achieve a complete solution that meets our customers’ demands.”
In preparation for the service introduction, Connexion by Boeing and Scandinavian Airlines are working on a host of payment options that will allow passengers to enjoy full access to the Internet. Payment will be by credit card or various forms of subscription. Using a unique SAS portal, travelers will also receive free access to services that facilitate their journey and selected corporate partners will also be able to offer their services.
Scandinavian Airlines will be the first airline in the world to invest exclusively in wireless technology (IEEE 802.11-standard) for Internet on board.
“We have long understood the benefits of wireless technology and since it is now making progress, it was an even more natural choice,” comments Jens Willumsen. “Scandinavian Airlines was also first in the world to introduce wireless access to its lounges in 1999.”
Information security is established in the same way as on the ground and users can securely log on to their companies’ intranets using Virtual Private Network technology. The new system is designed not to interfere with the other technology on board.