It is really, really, really official now. Southwest is going to have in-flight internet service from Row44. Yes, this would seem to be old news. It was 5 months ago that the carrier announced their intentions to go down this path with provider Row44. But both parties have been rather quiet for the past few months and there was no real progress in the contracts for actually making it happen.
That changed today when Runway Girl noted that the two had reached an agreement. The carrier confirmed the details shortly thereafter on their own blog. The contracts are signed and the hardware install is beginning. The existing four installed aircraft are no longer considered to be in “testing;” the system is officially live. They have still not announced full details on the pricing – that is still in testing apparently – but the product is definitely coming, and at a pretty quick pace. They expect to outfit 15 airplanes per month initially and ramp that up to 25 per month in the near future. That puts the at early 2012 for a full fleet-wide deployment completion date.