In-flight Internet service not seeing any takers

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Boeing may be looking to sell or even close its Connexion In-Flight Internet service unit due to poor sales. Boeing launched Connexion in April of 2000 on the hopes that US-based carriers would latch on to the service and offer it to passengers. Unfortunately for Connexion, that didn’t happen and the service is currently only available to some overseas passengers.

One of the biggest hurdles facing the service is the immense implementation cost associated with it for the airlines. It costs airline around $500,000 per aircraft to outfit each plane with the necessary equipment required to enable the service and struggling airlines just don’t currently have the resources available to afford it.

Another hurdle airlines are facing is the lukewarm response passengers have with the cost of internet access at 30,000ft. In-flight Internet access currently costs passengers anywhere from $10 to $27 per flight depending on the flight length for users to log-on.  No decision from Boeing is imminent; however, flyers seem to be drawn to cheaper alternatives. JetBlue, which recently won an auction from the FCC for in-flight airwaves, may launch a similar service in the future which doesn’t rely on the Boeing technology.

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