Chat, post, reply to e-mails, send documents… Freedom has always felt pretty limitless up above the clouds, of course, but now we’ve taken it to an entirely new level – with myAustrian FlyNet. Passengers can now go online using their mobile devices, as Wi-Fi is introduced on the entire Airbus fleet.

We asked our colleagues of the Austrian Airlines’ Connectivity team a few questions about the thrilling new service.

 

Colleagues of the core Connectivity team at work (left-right): Martin Maller/O/TE-A, Thomas Laxar/HE/CC-C, Samuel Heger/HE/CC-C, Binh Tu/HE/CC-C and Andreas Schremser/O/TE-A.

 

What can Austrian Airlines passengers now look forward to experiencing?

Since the end of last year, passengers can surf the internet with the myAustrian FlyNet on five of our A320-aircraft within a free trial.

In April the installation on board of 31 aircraft will be already completed und passengers can choose from three different, charged service rates and connect with the internet. Within the “myAustrian FlyNet” portal, passengers will find information on the relevant destination, myAustrian Services and further information about Austrian Airlines. This service is, of course, free of charge.

 

How exactly does myAustrian FlyNet work?

If passengers want to connect to the internet, they’ll just need to click on the ‘Internet Access’ button on the myAustrian FlyNet portal. They will then be able to select their preferred service rate. Just a few clicks later, they’ll be surfing above the clouds.

 

The entry page to the ‘myAustrian FlyNet’ portal.

 

Does this mean it will be possible to stay online from takeoff right through to landing?

Because of various restrictions at present, it will only be possible to activate the satellite link from an altitude of 10,000 feet onwards. We’re aiming to make it possible for myAustrian passengers to access the internet from takeoff all the way through to landing very soon, however.

 

Will the new internet access also mean inflight entertainment is available on all flights?

In the near future – we estimate the start date to be Summer 2017 – myAustrian FlyNet will be extended to include a ‘Wireless Inflight Entertainment’ product. This will make it possible for passengers, who buy one of the rates, to stream films, documentaries and TV series onto their devices quickly and easily. We will be offering around 50 films and 60 TV series ‘on demand’; these will then be changed every month. This sort of product has only been available on long-haul flights up until now!

 

 

What does it take to equip an aircraft with internet access?

Refitting an aircraft so it’s online-capable requires a wide range of new components, the largest of which is the antenna. It is installed on the aft fuselage, just in front of the stabiliser, creating a clearly visible ‘bump’. Parts like the BoardConnect Server, Wireless Access Points (WAPs) – and all the cabling in the cabin, of course – also need to be installed. The satellite equipment is then connected to the BoardConnect Server, and it’s only then that our myAustrian passengers can access the internet.

 

You can see whether an aircraft is internet-enabled from the clearly visible ‘bump‘ on its aft fuselage. This is where the antenna is housed.

 

Thanks very much for talking to us today – and we look forward to enjoying this new, even more, limitless freedom with Austrian Airlines!