Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) has plans to offer passengers broadband internet access systemwide. The entire SWISS short-haul aircraft fleet will be gradually equipped with the necessary technology from the winter of 2024-25 onwards.
The short-haul inflight internet access will be provided using a new hybrid technology known as the European Aviation Network (EAN), which combines a satellite link with ground-based radio technology to deliver a reliable broadband internet connection. The new technology is also advanced in sustainability terms as the onboard system weighs substantially less than previous technologies, translating into fuel savings and lower carbon dioxide emissions.
Internet on European flights
It will mean that SWISS passengers travelling on European flights will be able to make use of free internet chat access along with product offers for more extensive online functions, including email, surfing or social media use.
The installation programme aboard the SWISS fleet will extend to 30 Airbus A220s and 29 aircraft of the Airbus A320/A321 family and part of a broader rollout through the Lufthansa Group. SWISS has already equipped its long-haul fleet to offer broadband internet access.
SWISS will offer passengers on its short-haul services free internet access to use chat and messenger services such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, so they can send and receive unlimited text and picture messages, free of charge, during their flight. For a fee, passengers will also be able to surf the web and use email or social media platforms, along with streaming and Virtual Private Network (VPN) services.
“We appreciate how important it is for our customers to remain in touch, for professional or private purposes, while they’re on the move – be it to chat, to exchange emails or just to keep abreast of the latest news,” said Heike Birlenbach, Chief Commercial Officer at SWISS.
SWISS already offers the capability on long-haul flights.
“So we’re delighted that we’ll soon be able to accommodate this need on our shorter flights, too,” continued Birlenbach.