LONDON – U.S SkyTeam airlines giant Delta Air Lines plans to offer free Wi-Fi on most of their flight as of the first of February. This comes after the company CEO Ed Bastian announced its ambitious goals of becoming one of the most competitive airlines in the USA.
In a bid to become more competitive, Delta is the first major airline in the United States to offer free Wi-Fi usage in partnership with T-Mobile. The airline plans to have its Wi-Fi coverage on all domestic and international flights by 2024.
To begin, in delivering its experience to customers, the airline plans to serve more than 700 Viasat-equipped aircraft by end of 2023.
Delta CEO Ed Bastian said, at CES 2023 in Las Vegas: “At work, at home and everywhere in between, connectivity is essential to daily life, and your journey on Delta should be no different.”
“Our vision has long been to deliver an experience at 30,000 feet that feel similar to what our customers have available on the ground.”
Mike Sievert, T-Mobile CEO is also satisfied with the new partnership, adding at the CES 2023: “At T-Mobile, we believe staying connected while travelling should be an easy, seamless experience.”
“T-Mobile customers already get free in-flight Wi-Fi and now we’re partnering with Delta to bring that experience to all customers — regardless of their wireless provider — so that anyone flying Delta can enjoy online access from takeoff to touchdown.”
Delta and Viasat have a long and good working relationship. The SkyTeam airline has always adapted its technology in other fields to better connect its customers when flying in order to enhance their experiences and comfort onboard.
Viasat is a world-class satellite internet service provider, which played a huge role in Delta’s success in launching the Wi-Fi campaign, and has always been behind Delta’s connectivity solutions.
The airline is optimistic that Viasat’s product is viable and offers the best in-flight connectivity there is available in the market, and is on track to providing Wi-Fi on nearly all of its routes by the end of 2024.
Bastian said: “We didn’t just want free Wi-Fi to offer base-level service – we wanted it to be transformative for the entire onboard experience.“It is imperative all customers onboard can enjoy their favourite content just as they would at home, and we’ve put this system through meticulous tests to make that possible.”
What Makes Delta Stand Out?
According to Delta’s CEO Ed Bastian in an interview on CNBC, most airlines charge their passengers for Wi-Fi, which explains why Delta invested over $1 billion on this project to provide free, fast connection in the skies.
United Airlines, for instance, charges $8 for its loyal members and $10 for the rest. Low-cost giant South West on the other hand charges an $8 flat fee.
Meanwhile, on JetBlue, it is free, but with corporate sponsorships. Hawaiian Airlines is also eyeing to offer free Wi-Fi joint with SpaceX Starlink. The last legacy carrier of America offers a $10 route and destination depending.
The $1 billion move will be welcomed by Delta’s customers and also make the airline become more competitive than ever.