ATLANTA — Delta Air Lines on Wednesday said it was the first airline to provide in-flight Internet service onboard its regional aircraft.
Last November, the airline announced a plan to add onboard Wi-Fi to more than 200 regional jet aircraft operated by Delta Connection carriers.
The addition was to increase by 40 percent the number of Delta aircraft that have Gogo Inflight Internet service. Delta says it is the first domestic airline to offer Wi-Fi service “across its entire mainline and regional aircraft fleets with two classes of service.”
Delta’s first Wi-Fi-equipped regional jet — a Bombardier CRJ700 — was operated by Delta Connection carrier Atlantic Southeast Airlines, Delta said. The jet departed from departed from Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and had planned stops in Omaha, Neb.; Des Moines, Iowa; and White Plains, N.Y.
“With the addition of Gogo in-flight Internet service on Delta Connection two-class regional aircraft, more than 81,000 additional customers daily will be able to stay connected just like they do onboard Delta’s mainline fleet,” Bob Kupbens, Delta’s vice president – eCommerce, said in a news release. “We continue to innovate and lead the industry with customer-centric technology so customers can do things such as track their bags, check the status of their next flight, check email or connect with social networks while in flight.”
According to the official Delta news release:
Installations of Wi-Fi on Delta Connection jets will be complete by early next year. Once complete, all customers flying on Delta domestic flights with a First Class cabin will enjoy Wi-Fi access, including service on every Delta Shuttle flight between New York-LaGuardia and Boston, Chicago-O’Hare and Washington, D.C.
Delta began installing Wi-Fi on domestic mainline aircraft in 2008, becoming the first airline to announce plans for in-flight Internet service on all domestic aircraft. With its mainline aircraft and the addition of regional jets to the Wi-Fi program, more than 80 percent of Delta’s entire domestic fleet will feature Gogo in-flight Internet access. Customers can stay connected using Gogo in-flight Internet with free access to delta.com or Delta’s mobile applications.
Delta Connection aircraft featuring First Class cabins include Embraer 170, Embraer 175, Bombardier CRJ700 and Bombardier CRJ900 models operated by Delta Connection. The aircraft feature between nine and 12 seats in First Class and between 56 and 64 seats in Economy.
In addition to Wi-Fi, Delta has taken a number of steps to fully align service on Delta Connection and mainline flights. Recent improvements have included adding First Class cabins to 82 additional CRJ700 jets; introducing meal service in First Class on regional jets; and adding china, linen and silverware to Delta Connection First Class cabins.
Delta’s regional jet Wi-Fi investments are the latest in the airline’s previously announced plan to invest more than $2 billion in enhanced global products, services and airport facilities through 2013. In addition to installing Wi-Fi and upgrading its domestic fleet, Delta will offer full flat-bed seats on more than 140 widebody aircraft, feature personal, in-seat entertainment for both BusinessElite and Economy class customers on all widebody flights, and complete new terminal facilities for international customers at its two largest global gateways – Atlanta and New York-JFK.