Norwegian will roll out free in-flight Wi-Fi across its long-haul fleet in what it claims is a first for a budget airline.
The low-cost carrier will introduce free and premium Wi-Fi connectivity on its Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners and 737 MAX aircraft.
Its first “connected” 787 was delivered on December 18 last year featuring American author Mark Twain on its tailfin.
Norwegian says it expects half of its 787s to offer in-flight connectivity by 2020. Its 737 MAX fleet, meanwhile, will be upgraded with Wi-Fi starting mid-January.
Basic Wi-Fi will be free and allow passengers to browse the web and social media, and send and receive emails, instant messages and texts using phones, tablets and laptops.
Premium Wi-Fi will be fast enough to stream music, films and TV shows using services like Netflix, with prices from €12.95 for three hours usage.
The service will be provided by Collins Aerospace’s CabinConnect systems, which use the Inmarsat Global Aviation satellite network.
Norwegian introduced free Wi-Fi across all its European services in 2011 and live television in 2015. It currently operates more than 60 long-haul routes between Europe, the US, South America and Asia, including 12 ex-UK which will rise to 15 by April with the addition of Miami, Rio de Janeiro and San Francisco.
Boris Bubresko, Norwegian vice-president business development, said: “We’re continuously improving the in-flight customer experience and we’re delighted to be the first airline offering free Wi-Fi for the full duration of long-haul flights.”
Norwegian will take delivery of five new 787-9 Dreamliners and 19 more 737 MAX aircraft this year.