German flag carrier Lufthansa has launched an inflight mobile phone service with AeroMobile, named Lufthansa FlyNet. With eight aircraft already in service, the airline has confirmed it will roll out mobile connectivity across its entire long-haul fleet of over 100 aircraft this year.
On 6 February, Boeing delivered the first B747-8 to be fully line-fitted with the AeroMobile inflight mobile service, which opens the path for all future B747-8s to be fitted with the systems. Lufthansa has 19 B747-8s set to enter its fleet, nine of which have already been delivered and will be retro-fitted with the AeroMobile systems this year. The additional deliveries will leave the Boeing facility in Seattle fully line-fit with connectivity. Once all of the aircraft have been delivered, Lufthansa will have the largest B747-8 fleet in the world, all with full mobile connectivity.
The AeroMobile network, which allows passengers to roam just as they would abroad, is already available across selected A330s in the Lufthansa fleet, flying from Munich and Frankfurt to North America and the Middle East. The roll out means that this year, customers flying on any of Lufthansa’s long-haul routes will be able to stay connected using their personal mobile devices inflight. To access the system, passengers simply turn on their mobile device to connect to the network, and are billed directly by their mobile operator. Prices are typically similar to ‘rest of world’ terrestrial roaming rates, according to AeroMobile, which has roaming agreements with more than 240 mobile phone operators worldwide, including T-Mobile, Vodafone, e-Plus, O2, AT&T, EE and Three.