A Lufthansa exec said the airline will reintroduce in-flight broadband using Connection by Boeing antennas still installed: The executive made these remarks today at an airline association meeting near a Boeing assembly plant in Washington state. Lufthansa will have an announcement about specifics next month. FlightGlobal's Air Transport Intelligence news service says that talks between Lufthansa and a consortium including T-Mobile have ended, and Lufthansa may be pairing with Panasonic Avionics.
Back in 2006, Panasonic tried to get enough planes on board to transition Connexion customers to a new offering. The group wanted 500 aircraft committed to launch its own Ku-band service, using geostationary satellites like Boeing, but with a far lower cost structure and lighter-weight antennas and interior gear. (Here's my interview with a Panasonic exec back in Sept. 2006.)
Lufthansa equipped about 60 of its long-haul planes, and reportedly had high uptake by its passengers, who could expect that every long flight would include the service. Lufthansa had at least three times as many planes equipped with Connexion as the next airline before Boeing shut the wildly unprofitable service down in 2006.
For its part, ATI reports that Panasonic says it has five airlines signed for eXConnect, its branded Internet service.
Row 44, the only Ku-band provider currently offering service--trials with Alaska and Southwest airlines, with an Alaska rollout seemingly confirmed--is operating only over the US and over sea in its current phase. Aircell, which has air-to-ground operations in the U.S. with an exclusive license, has been talking for months about extending its market via Ku-band service, but that could be through a partner, like Panasonic.