From early summer 2016, Lufthansa will be the first network airline in Europe to offer broadband on board its short and medium-haul flights.
This will enable passengers on continental flights and flights within Germany to enjoy the full freedom to communicate and to use the Internet with a wide bandwidth above the clouds.
Carsten Spohr, chairman of the executive board of Deutsche Lufthansa AG, comments: “Lufthansa has always been a pioneer of Internet services on board its aircraft.
“Having equipped all planes in the Lufthansa intercontinental fleet with our successful FlyNet system, we are now continuing our success story by providing Internet on board our short and medium-haul flights.
“We are therefore the first airline in Europe able to offer its guests an Internet surfing experience boasting the same quality and speed as they are used to at home.”
The new service from Lufthansa and its technology partner Inmarsat is based on the most modern broadband satellite technology from Inmarsat’s Global Xpress network (Ka-band) and offers seamless, reliable coverage on short and medium-haul flights.
Inmarsat recently successfully launched the third satellite in this global constellation and Lufthansa will be its first aviation customer.
The service will enable passengers to make the most of broadband Internet access on their own mobile devices via a wireless network.
They will not only be able to use simple e-mail services, but also superior applications and even streaming.
On top of all this, passengers will also be able to use their mobile phones to send and receive text messages and for the transfer of data based on their own mobile phone contract.
Telephone calls on board, however, will still not be allowed due to customer preference.
Lufthansa Technik will integrate all systems and components into the aircraft thanks to its many years of experience in the field of plane modification.
This work will not only include installation activities, but also all tasks required in terms of aviation and licensing law.
With regard to the future, Lufthansa is also committing to a flight trial programme for a new hybrid network being developed for Europe.
The European Aviation Network combines an S-band satellite from Inmarsat with a complementary LTE ground network being provided by Deutsche Telekom.
This promising and innovative technology offers potential in terms of costs and can be flexibly adapted to suit the broadband transmission demands of the future.
From 2017 onwards, Lufthansa will commence a flight trial program of the new technology.