updated 03:35 pm EDT, Wed August 1, 2007
In-flight Internet back?
The German airliner Lufthansa is in discussions with "a number of companies" to help bring back in-flight Internet services, according to company representative Michael Lamberty, speaking with InfoWorld. Earlier in the decade Lufthansa equipped 60 to 80 of its planes for Connexion, a Boeing service that started sales in 2004; it was joined by 11 other airlines based in Asia and Europe. Blaming the travel slump following the 2001 terrorist attacks on the US, however, Boeing decided to abandon Connexion in 2006, calling it financially unviable. This effectively brought in-flight Internet to a halt worldwide.
Lufthansa's plan would put it in a broad partnership, which sources for the Wall Street Journal suggest may include the Deutsche Telekom-owned T-Mobile. Lufthansa would mainly be an initial client, Lamberty says, but could provide technical assistance if asked. There is no current timeline for when a Connexion-like service might be formed.