As AirTran plans a splashy announcement this morning that it will have its entire domestic fleet equipped with Wi-Fi by summer's end, Delta Air Lines said yesterday afgternoon that it has installed Wi-Fi on nearly half of its domestic mainline fleet, "making the airline the world's leading provider of in-flight connectivity."
Of more than 300 airplanes Delta operates on U.S. routes, 139 are equipped with the Gogo Inflight Internet, including the entire MD-88 fleet. In addition, the MD-90 fleet will be complete by the end of May with the remainder of the domestic fleet scheduled for completion by September.
Delta "is well on its way to offering guaranteed Wi-Fi every time our customers fly a mainline flight within the continental United States," said Tim Mapes, Delta's senior vice president for marketing. "We are fully committed to investing in innovative on-board technology that adds value for our customers be it in the form of seat-back satellite TV, on-demand movies or now Wi-Fi."
Delta decided last year to equip its entire domestic fleet with Wi-Fi. The airline later expanded its installation plans to include approximately 200 Northwest airplanes, which are scheduled for completion next year. Then DCelta will have more than 500 aircraft offering Wi-Fi.
In addition to the MD-88s, Wi-Fi is now available on some 757-200s and MD-90s. Service is offered in both First and Economy class on a pay-per-flight basis. The cost of Wi-Fi access on a single Delta flight ranges from $7.95-$12.95. In June, customers also will be able to purchase month-long, unlimited use passes.