British Airways will take a further step into the next generation of air travel by offering on-board e-mail and Internet access for its passengers.
British Airways, the airline that revolutionised business travel with the introduction of the first flat beds in First and Club World, will be installing Connexion by Boeing SM in its First, Club World and World Traveller Plus cabins for a trial period of three months.
Connexion by Boeing provides the broadband technology which allows air travellers to use their own lap top computers at 35,000 ft and surf the Internet, send e-mails with attachments and access their own corporate intranets.
The technology could also provide British Airways with the capability to broadcast live TV and radio shows -- all in flight. The new system will allow travellers to send real-time e-mails at ten times the speed of traditional e-mail connections.
Martin George, British Airways' Director of Marketing, said: "We have chosen to trial the Connexion by Boeing service on board because we believe it offers real benefits for travellers.
"Connexion by Boeing allows passengers to not only surf the Internet while on board but also allows business travellers to access their corporate and personal e-mail accounts, send real-time e-mails and access their corporate networks."
The trial, due to begin in February 2003, follows extensive research of British Airways passengers about the benefits of e-mail and Internet access in the air.
The research showed that 75% of business travellers take laptops on board with them and most of those who carried laptops were extremely or very interested in having Internet access during a flight.
Scott Carson, Connexion by Boeing President, said: "We are extremely pleased that British Airways shares our vision of the added value that in-flight connectivity can bring to their passengers.
"British Airways continues to be an industry leader in their efforts to add services that enhance the passenger experience and increase the airline's operating efficiencies."