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Norwegian becomes first low-cost airline to introduce free Wi-Fi on intercontinental flights

Norwegian is taking off the new year by upgrading the passenger experience for long-haul customers with the introduction of inflight Wi-Fi on its growing long-haul fleet of aircraft.

Voted Skytrax 2018 World’s Best Low-Cost Long-Haul Airline, Norwegian became the first carrier to offer free Wi-Fi on all European routes in 2011 and the first European airline to successfully offer live television in the skies in 2015. Since 2013, Norwegian has rapidly grown to become a leading long-haul airline offering more than 60 long-haul routes between Europe, the USA, South America and Asia serviced by modern, state-of-the-art, fuel-efficient aircraft.

Norwegian customers flying between Europe, USA, South America and Asia will be able to stay connected in the skies with the rollout of free and premium high-speed Wi-Fi connectivity on the carrier’s Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner and 737 MAX aircraft.

The first connected Norwegian Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner (reg: G-CKWP), featuring American author Mark Twain on the tailfin, was delivered on 18 December 2018. The new aircraft has entered service and this milestone marks the first time Norwegian passengers can experience free inflight Wi-Fi for the full duration of long-haul flights.

More than 50 per cent of Norwegian’s 787-9 Dreamliner fleet is expected to offer in-flight connectivity by 2020. The rollout of Wi-Fi on the airline’s Boeing 737 MAX aircraft will commence from mid-January 2019.

Simple choice of two packages – Basic and Premium inflight Wi-Fi

Norwegian economy and Premium customers on the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner and 737 MAX will have the choice of two inflight Wi-Fi packages:

Basic option

The Basic option is free and will allow customers to browse the web, stay-up-to-date on social media, send and receive emails and instant messages with friends, family and colleagues by using their personal mobile phones, tablets and laptops on board for the full length of the flight.

Premium option

Fast enough to stream music, movies and television shows on Netflix, YouTube and Hulu among others, Norwegian will offer passengers a Premium high-speed Wi-Fi option.

Premium high-speed Wi-Fi will be available at an introductory price of $14.95 USD / €12.95 EUR for a three-hour package.Customers can select their preferred currency when choosing the Wi-Fi package.

Vice President Business Development Boris Bubresko: “We’re continuously improving the inflight customer experience and we’re delighted to be the first airline offering free Wi-Fi for the full duration of long-haul flights.

“Millions of Norwegian customers have already enjoyed free Wi-Fi over the skies of Europe and now long-haul passengers can continue to rely on free and high-speed internet connectivity that will enhance and personalise their journeys.

“From being the first European airline to launch free Wi-Fi on all short-haul flights followed by free live television, Norwegian’s rollout of high-quality inflight broadband services will offer business and leisure travellers even greater value at affordable fares.”

Passengers will receive a fast experience using the wireless inflight connectivity platform, CabinConnect by Collins Aerospace. Passengers will have highly secure access to internet content through CabinConnect including their favourite shows, inflight map and voice and messaging services through their devices.

CabinConnect uses the Inmarsat Global Aviation (GX) satellite network, specifically designed to offer passengers consistent, reliable high-speed global inflight connectivity.

LeAnn Ridgeway, Vice President of Information Management Services at Collins Aerospace said:“We are collaborating with Norwegian to achieve their vision of optimising their aircraft and enterprise operations to address both cabin and flight deck requirements, as well as adding new capabilities for the future.”

Inflight Wi-Fi works via an antenna fitted to each aircraft fuselage which communicates with Inmarsat’s GX satellite network.

In the UK, Norwegian currently operates 15 nonstop long-haul routes from London Gatwick to Austin, Boston, Buenos Aires, Chicago, Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami (from 31 March), New York, Orlando, Rio de Janeiro (from 31 March), San Francisco (from 1 April), Seattle, Singapore and Tampa.

In 2019, Norwegian will take delivery of five brand new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners and 19 737 MAX aircraft. Norwegian currently operates 24 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners as part of its overall Dreamliner fleet of 32 aircraft.