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Air India aims to be first local airline offering Wi-Fi

In a bid to revive its fortunes, the state-owned carrier plans to offer inflight connectivity for both international and domestic flights for a fee.
Written by Ryan Huang, Contributor

State-owned Air India (AI) is planning to offer inflight Wi-Fi, in what will be a first for Indian aviation, according to TNN.

The move is aimed at improving the carrier's competitivity as it looks to regain lost marketshare especially in international traffic. In the domestic market, AI has long lost its dominance to rivals IndiGo and JetGroup, noted the report.

"Thanks to our brand new planes, we have the youngest average age of 3.5 for an aircraft in India. The old gen A-320s are being phased out. The new fleet should have the latest technology like Wi-Fi and we are working towards that," an official told TNN.

It could still be some way to go with the airline setting up a panel to study how installing the Wi-Fi can be "cost-neutral" for the airline and actually help it make money. Before proceeding further, AI is currently waiting for a presentation by Thales, the world's leading in-flight entertainment and connectivity company.

While airlines have increasingly looked to introduce inflight connectivity, such as big players Singapore Airlines and Emirates, it has not particularly taken off partly due to the high prices. "It has so far not been very successful abroad. We will examine all pros and cons of the same from an Indian perspective," said an AI official.


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