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Growth in airlines offering in-flight wifi

Broadband on planes has the potential to create a $130 billion market

A new report reveals there has been a 17 per cent increase in the number of airlines offering in-flight wifi in the last year.

The annual Routehappy 2018 Wifi Report by flight shopping platform Routehappy compiles details of in-flight wifi across the globe. It shows that while many airlines rolled out their first wifi offerings, early adopters spent 2017 upgrading their service.

A total of 82 airlines now offer in-flight wifi, up 17 per cent from 70 in the 2017 report. Nearly half (46 per cent) of all available seat miles (ASM) worldwide now offer some form of wifi – up 10 per cent from last year.

The US seems to be ahead of airlines in other countries, offering at least a chance at wifi on 86 per cent of ASMs compared to 32 per cent on non-US carriers. The top three airlines offering the most ASMs are Delta, American and Emirates, respectively.

Furthermore, there are three carriers now offering wifi on 100 per cent of their flights – Icelandair, Southwest and Virgin Atlantic. Looking globally, there are 13 airlines offering the service on all long-haul flights – Air Europa, Delta, Emirates, Etihad, Eurowings, EVA Air, Iberia, Kuwait, Lufthansa, SAS, Scoot, United and Virgin Atlantic.

The best-available in-flight wifi is now offered on 16 per cent of ASMs worldwide, representing a 129 per cent increase from 2017. Basic wifi is losing ground, representing just 27 per cent of ASMs globally. ‘Better’ wifi represents the largest portion of ASMs at 57 per cent.

Robert Albert, CEO of Routehappy, said: “2017 was another progressive year for in-flight wifi, with a large increase in the amount of airlines that provide wifi access, on top of the growing availability of nearly half the available seat miles worldwide. The 129 per cent growth of ‘Best’ wifi is extraordinary; it shows the commitment airlines are making to best-in-class systems and we expect to see this number increase even more in 2018.”

routehappy.com

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