Alaska Airlines will become the first US carrier to offer satellite-based Wi-Fi internet access to passengers, reports AP. The airline will install the wireless service on one 737 jet next spring with a view to outfitting the entire 114-plane fleet. American Airlines announced plans for internet access on some of its Boeing 767s, using an air-to-ground system relying on cellular towers to transmit the broadband signals.
Boeing abandoned plans last year for an in-flight internet service after failing to generate enough interest from airlines. Called Connexion, it offered high-speed internet satellite hookups for $10 an hour, but suffered setbacks in the industry-wide downturn following the 9/11 attacks.