Norway-based low-cost airline, Norwegian has introduced a gate-to-gate wi-fi service which gives passengers access to the airline’s wi-fi network as soon as they step on board the aircraft. Previously, the aircraft had to climb to an altitude of 10,000ft before the wi-fi network was activated, but now passengers travelling on any route across Norwegian’s global network will have a wi-fi connection as soon as they are seated, and can remain online until they arrive at their destination.
“Until recently, flights were hour-long black holes when it comes to internet coverage. Now, Norwegian makes it possible to be online from the moment you board the aircraft until you step outside again. We launched free wi-fi on board in 2011 and since then millions of passengers have been surfing the internet on board, so are looking very much forward to offering the new gate-to-gate experience to our passengers”, said the airline’s chief customer and digital officer, Kurt Simonsen.
Earlier this year, Norwegian became the first low-cost airline to introduce free wi-fi on intercontinental routes, a service which is currently being rolling out on its Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft fleet. Customers have two choices – basic free Wi-Fi for the full duration of long-haul flights, and a premium high-speed option, fast enough to stream television shows and movies. The carrier has also introduced premium wi-fi on European flights.
Norwegian expects to complete the rollout of wi-fi on half of its Dreamliner aircraft by 2020.
Timeline of Norwegian’s wi-fi enhancements
- 2011: Became the first airline to offer free wi-fi on European flights. Later, Norwegian launched Video on Demand, which gives passengers on access to Norwegian’s online entertainment portal on their own devices
- 2015:Became the first airline to offer live TV on European routes
- January 2019: Commenced the rollout of wi-fi on its long-haul fleet of B787 Dreamliners
- February 2019: Launched high-speed wi-fi on board its B737 aircraft, which enables streaming of music, movies and TV shows directly to handheld devices
- June 2019: Launches gate-to-gate wi-fi