In a first by any Indian aircraft carrier, budget airline SpiceJet has inducted a fleet of Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft, which is equipped to provide on-board WiFi which will allow domestic flyers to surf the internet.
The airline however is waiting for the long-pending process of in-flight internet and once the regulatory and government approvals gets cleared the airline will start offering internet service to its passengers on board.
Besides being fuel-efficient, the aircraft is equipped with Satcom communication systems that will enable it to offer internet service on board once regulatory and government approvals are in place, the statement added.
On Friday, SpiceJet has inducted the first of its 205 Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft it had ordered in 2017 for $22 billion.
It was in May this year when Telecom Commission had approved in-flight connectivity, facilitating both voice and data calls and data surfing in Indian airspace.
SpiceJet chairman Ajay Singh said, “We are excited to take delivery of our very first 737 MAX 8. This is a huge milestone in SpiceJet’s journey. These new airplanes will enable us to open new routes, while reducing fuel and engineering costs, as well as emissions. The 737 MAX will dramatically reduce noise pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Passengers will benefit from a large number of premium seats and, for the first time in India, broadband internet on board.”
It is to be noted that in India, WiFi or calls in flights will not be free and the telecom department has left the pricing of these services to the airlines. The pricing could be part of ticket or charged separately to passengers.
For an instance Malaysian airline AirAsia charges about $2 for 3MB to use on roKKi Chats and $4.50 for 10MB for lightweight internet usage which doesn’t include YouTube/app downloads. roKKi is Malaysia-based provider of inflight entertainment & connectivity that offers WiFi access on selected AirAsia flights.
[Top Image – Travel3sixty.com]