Internet, live TV on flights

Full broadband internet access, mobile phone service and even live television may soon be a reality on flights after a leading international airline revealed plans to introduce them.

Cathay Pacific, the flag carrier of Hong Kong, has announced plans to fit its entire fleet with internet broadband service, a mobile telephone network and even televisions that would broadcast live shows, the Age reported.

The airline has entered a deal with Panasonic Avionics, a broadband system that will have speeds of up to 50 megabytes on its aircrafts by early 2012. Flights will also have a service for mobile phones.

The system will be accessible through all passenger devices and seat-back screens and will include a range of content updated during the flight, plus live television with a pay-per-view capability for special events.

"We believe that being connected is now an expected part of everyday life, not just for business purposes but also to stay in touch with family and friends," Alex McGowan, head of product for Cathay Pacific, was quoted as saying.

"This system will allow passengers to be as ‘in touch’ as they wish to be while enjoying the service," he said.

It will, however, not be free. The airline will announce the prices when the system is ready to roll out.

Cathay has claimed it is the first airline in Asia to announce its plans to use the broadband system and the first airline in the world to announce its use in its full fleet.

Several other airlines, including Delta and Virgin, are also updating their fleets with wifi systems.(IANS)


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