Gogo goes global with JAL

The skies over Japan will be a bit more connected starting in 2014 thanks to a deal between Japan Airlines and in-flight internet provider Gogo. The deal calls for the entire domestic JAL fleet – 77 planes – to be fitted with Gogo’s gear, keeping them online during their flights within the country. The addition of internet services is part of a larger plan which will also see a number of other upgrades to the JAL domestic fleet, including new seats and more flights with a premium cabin offering.

JAL and Gogo are teaming up to provide in-flight internet connectivity on all planes in JAL's domestic fleet starting in mid-2014
JAL and Gogo are teaming up to provide in-flight internet connectivity on all planes in JAL’s domestic fleet starting in mid-2014. Photo courtesy of Gogo.

Unlike the service with their USA-based partners the JAL/Gogo implementation will be satellite-only; this is the first Ku-only partner gogo has signed on with. Using Ku-band service will allow Gogo and JAL to take advantage of existing satellite coverage in the area and to have the systems online in mid-2014. JAL indicated in their release that the service would be fee-based, not complimentary.

Moving forward with a wholly satellite-based solution reinforces Gogo’s place as a technology-agnostic provider of connectivity in the aviation market. So long as the platform is reliable Gogo is willing to consider it as a base for their service.  As connectivity platforms mature that positioning bodes well for Gogo; being able to adapt their solution to any connection, not just ones they manage directly, should open up more opportunities such as this one down the line.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.