Lufthansa and Boeing today announced the signing of a definitive service agreement that solidifies the European air carrier's position as the launch customer for the Connexion by Boeing mobile information service and a leader in bringing broadband connectivity to passengers in flight.
The agreement calls for the Connexion by Boeing service to be installed on Lufthansa's fleet of approximately 80 long-haul aircraft, including Boeing 747-400 and Airbus A330 and A340 aircraft, beginning in early 2004.
While financial terms of the service agreement were not disclosed, executives from both companies believe the advent of high-speed connectivity will be a significant benefit for airline passengers and for airline operators worldwide.
"Through this agreement, Lufthansa has clearly taken a position of leadership within the aviation industry in recognizing the added value that broadband connectivity can bring to its passengers and to its airline operations," said Connexion by Boeing President Scott Carson. "We salute them for their pioneering spirit and the vision we share for enhancing the travel experience for their passengers and for creating new value opportunities for their airline operations."
"Lufthansa has always been a forerunner of technological innovations in the aerospace industry, whereby the customers and their requirements are always the focus of our attention," said Wolfgang Mayrhuber, who will take over as Chairman of the Executive Board on June 18. "Our dedication to innovation, customer orientation and high quality will continue to be the key for our success. For this reason, we invest even during economically difficult times in the most modern technology."
In preparation for the commercial service introduction, Connexion by Boeing and Lufthansa are working on a host of payment options that will allow passengers to enjoy full access to the Internet including the use of Miles and More bonus miles or payment of a nominal service access fee.
In addition to the agreement with Lufthansa, Connexion by Boeing also signed an agreement with Lufthansa Technik AG to support the installation of the mobile information service on the Lufthansa fleet. Based on the terms of the agreement, Lufthansa Technik will support Connexion by Boeing in the design, planning and installation of the service and also produce a corresponding installation kit and supporting service bulletins that will be provided to the Boeing team.
"There currently is no comparable high-speed service available today that meets the collective needs of airline passengers, business travelers and the airline operators, although travelers have been gradually warmed to the benefits of connectivity by narrowband services offered in the market," added Carson. "We hope to change that beginning in 2004 with the help of Lufthansa and our other airline customers."