UP ABOVE THE WORLD SO HIGH, WI-FI

China Eastern Air­lines charts a new course

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - BUSINESS - By WANG YING in Shang­hai wang_y­ing@chi­nadaily.com.cn

As the first Chi­nese car­rier to of­fer in-flight in­ter­net ac­cess, China Eastern Air­lines Corp Ltd is poised to com­mer­cial­ize the ser­vice in its wide­bod­ied air­craft next year once they get the nod from avi­a­tion au­thor­i­ties, a se­nior man­ager from the Shang­hai-based car­rier said.

“Since launch­ing the com­mer­cial test on in-flight Wi-Fi last Novem­ber, China Eastern Air­lines has brought Wi-Fi con­nec­tiv­ity to 43 air­craft, and the fig­ure is ex­pected to reach 54 by the year’s end, which will ex­ceed the to­tal num­ber of all Wi-Fi in­stalled planes in the Chi­nese main­land, Hong Kong, Ma­cao and Tai­wan cur­rently,” said Zhang Chi, deputy direc­tor of China Eastern Air­lines’ trans­for­ma­tion of­fice.

Ac­cord­ing to Zhang, more than 4,000 pas­sen­gers per day with China Eastern used the free Wi-Fi ser­vice as of Septem­ber, and by Novem­ber, the car­rier had ex­panded its on­board Wi-Fi ser­vice from 2,500 flights to 3,000 per month.

China Eastern has been tak­ing the lead in in-flight Wi-Fi devel­op­ment in re­cent years, and the com­pany got ap­proval from the Min­istry of In­dus­try and In­for­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy to use Asi­aSat-6 satel­lite for Wi-Fi ser­vices on 21 air­planes from May, 2015.

Since Novem­ber 2015, Chi-

YIN LIQIN / FOR CHINA DAILY

A pas­sen­ger ac­cesses WeChat us­ing the in-flight Wi-Fi ser­vice pro­vided by China Eastern Air­lines.

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