Norwegian plans “gate-to-gate” Wi-Fi connectivity on all routes across the airline’s global network. The enhanced broadband gives passengers access to the airline’s Wi-Fi network as soon as the flight begins, allowing them to stay connected for the entire duration of the flight — pushback to gate arrival.
The services departs from practices that required the aircraft to climb to an altitude of 10,000 feet before the Wi-Fi network was activated. With “gate-to-gate” Wi-Fi, passengers have a Wi-Fi connection as soon as the taxiing begins and they can remain online until they arrive at their destination.
Gate-to-Gate Wi-Fi is available for all Norwegian customers on the entire Wi-Fi-enabled fleet servicing both short and long-haul routes.
Earlier this year, Norwegian became the first low-cost airline to introduce free Wi-Fi on intercontinental routes, a service that continues to roll out on its Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft. 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.
Norwegian expects to have the rollout of Wi-Fi completed on 50 per cent of its Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft by 2020.
The carrier has also introduced premium Wi-Fi on European flights, upgrading the existing Wi-Fi experience with high-speed connections fast enough for passengers to stream video content.
“We know how important it is for our passengers to have internet access. 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 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 Chief Customer and Digital Officer at Norwegian, Kurt Simonsen.
Timeline of Norwegian’s Wi-Fi enhancements
• 2011: Pioneered inflight Wi-Fi by being the first airline to offer free Wi-Fi on all European routes. Later, Norwegian launched Video on Demand that gives passengers on access to Norwegian’s online entertainment portal on their own devices.
• 2015: First airline to offer live television on European routes.
• January 2019: Commences the rollout of Wi-Fi on the airline’s long-haul fleet of 787 Dreamliners.
• February 2019: Launches new high-speed Wi-Fi on board its 737 aircraft. The high-speed Wi-Fi makes it possible to stream music, movies and TV shows directly to handheld devices.
• June 2019: Launches Gate-to-Gate Wi-Fi that gives online connectivity from boarding the aircraft until arriving at destination.