WiFi on planes is the next-gen convenience, or potential annoyance, depending on your attitude to people being ‘connected’ all around you. But for business people, parents with families or bored flyers, it will be a welcome addition to the low-cost flying experience.
Now, passengers, onboard AirAsia can look forward to an “enhanced inflight entertainment and connectivity experience” with the low-cost airlines’ recently upgraded WiFi services.
Six AirAsia Malaysia planes and two aircraft operated by Thai AirAsia have now been equipped with Inmarsat’s high-speed Ka-band platform, GX Aviation. AirAsia Group president (RedBeat Ventures) Aireen Omar said this development is the “next logical step” for the airline.
AirAsia formerly carried a system called ‘Rokki’ but has phased that out in preference to the newer, faster system.
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“As the pioneer of low coast inflight WiFi in the region, we are always looking for ways to redefine the digital inflight experience for our guests.”
Guests will be able to stay connected throughout their journey and perform data-intensive activities, including live streaming. Ka-band claims to provide connectivity beyond basic broadband, supporting real-time video, music streaming and more.
The AirAsia WiFi Internet plans range between 9 Ringgit (65 baht) and 58 Ringgit (420 baht) with the most basic plan capped at 10MB speed. There is also the top of the range 200MB plan which is best for streaming.
The service will be rolled out to the rest of the Air Asia fleet over the next 12 months.
The Thaiger tried out the new system on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Phuket on Tuesday. We were only using the 10MB speed internet but was perfectly adequate for our work and saving documents in the ‘cloud’.