updated 01:00 pm EDT, Mon October 12, 2009
Lufthansa intros FlyNet in-flight data service
Airline Lufthansa revealed it will soon offer improved cellphone and Internet services on its long-distance flights, bettering those offered from other airlines. According to a Monday WSJ report (subscription required), the German company will partner with Panasonic to offer the connection services, called FlyNet, on flights between Europe and North America in the next few months before expanding the service to all of its planes and routes.
In 2006, Lufthansa was forced to drop an in-flight Internet and cellular network service when Boeing shut down its Connexion offering. Compared to similar services, Lufthansa's will be an all-access Internet and voice service, rather than the limited text and messaging-oriented options from the competitors.
Calls made using FlyNet are expected to cost $3 per minute at a minimum, while Internet access should be $12 per hour or $22 for a day. While this is less than when Connexion was used, it's about twice as much as the less advanced offerings from the competition.