By Prof. Dr. Wolfgang H. Thome, ETN Africa Correspondent
When Kenya Airways a few months ago launched their largest aircraft in the fleet, a 400 seat B777-300ER, one of the innovations on board was internet connectivity, which comes on when the aircraft flies at 10.000 feet and above.
During the demonstration flight did Kenya Airways’ marketing team on board show off how this will revolutionize travel as passengers can opt to remain connected and work, or else keep their friend informed on their position via social media postings.
The next deliveries of yet more of these aircraft, and of course the arrival of the B787 Dreamliner, also equipped with inflight internet connectivity, will change the game in the air and it is of little surprise therefore that closest rival on the African continent, Ethiopian Airlines, is now taking a fresh look at adding this feature on their long haul fleet too, after previously opting out of it.
Information coming out of Addis Ababa has confirmed that the airline is now in talks with service providers and if the go ahead is received the entire B777 and B787 fleet will be progressively fitted and retrofitted with the system.
Talk about competition being good for the passengers – this clearly is a prime example where the innovation of one airline spurs another to come to level terms again.