(Updated to include comment from Gogo)
American Airlines has revealed that Gogo’s next generation air-to-ground based inflight Wi-Fi system, ATG-4, plus the company’s new Ku-band satellite-supported Wi-Fi system will be installed on its new-delivery domestic aircraft.
“American plans to offer Gogo’s next generation ATG-4 technology beginning in July 2013 with the new Airbus A319 deliveries,” says Cameron King, an American spokeswoman who works for public relations agency Weber Shandwick.
“All remaining domestic aircraft deliveries after that point will come equipped with the ATG-4 technology in addition to Gogo’s Ku satellite technology, which will enhance the user experience over water and congested areas,” she adds.
In a statement provided to the APEX editor’s blog Gogo says both ATG-4 and Ku will be installed on American’s new Airbus A320 family aircraft and Boeing 737s post-delivery. Gogo is working to gain linefit offerability for the systems with Airbus and Boeing but this won’t happen “immediately”.
Currently operating in Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, but negotiating a potential merger deal with US Airways, American holds orders for several hundred single-aisle aircraft from the Boeing 737 and Airbus A320 families.
ATG-4 is expected to bolster capacity for passengers who are hungry for bandwidth, especially on high-trafficked routes, including transcontinental routes. In supplementing this system with Ku capacity, however, American is making an unprecedented decision to offer not one, but two connectivity systems. The move speaks volumes about passengers’ requirements for bandwidth.
“The dual systems will enable the aircraft to provide seamless inflight Internet service on domestic and international flights. Installations will occur as the new aircraft are delivered to American beginning in 2013,” says Gogo.
Gogo president and CEO, Michael Small adds: “Gogo’s ability to deploy multiple connectivity solutions gives us the flexibility to install the right technology for each individual aircraft regardless of its mission. American’s decision to use both solutions is further acknowledgment of the significant advantages of the dual system for an enhanced customer experience.”
In addition to American’s new A320 family aircraft and 737s, Gogo was previously selected to outfit existing MD-80s and 737s, 757s and 767s with ATG in American’s domestic fleet. Gogo service is available on more than 400 American aircraft.