TOPGogo to offer internet service on JAL flights

Gogo to offer internet service on JAL flights

By Alec Jordan

Gogo Inc announced Monday it had landed a contract with Japan Airlines Co to provide inflight internet services on the airlines’ domestic flights.

The Illinois-based inflight connectivity provider agreed to provide broadband services on JAL’s domestic fleet of 77 aircraft starting next year.

The deal marks Gogo’s first significant international customer. Gogo currently provides satellite-based internet services to US airlines such as Delta, American Airlines, US Airways, Virgin America and Alaska Airlines, with about 80% market share of WiFi-equipped aircraft in North America.

JAL will be among the first airlines to employ Gogo’s satellite system operating in the so-called Ku-band frequencies, Gogo Chief Executive Michael Small said in an interview.

Delta Airlines, Gogo’s launch customer, is installing the Ku-band service on all 170 of its international fleet, Small said, noting that either Delta or JAL would be the first to offer the service to customers.

Small said Gogo aims to increase the number of aircraft using its system in the US and is working on international deals.

“We’re in open dialogues with carriers around the world,” Gogo spokesman Steve Nolan said.

JAL will be the first Japanese carrier, one of the country’s largest, to offer domestic inflight internet, the airline said.

Gogo stock rose 5% in Monday morning trading to $17.10. It went public at $17 on June 21 but traded as low as $9.71 on August 21.

By Maesie Bertumen

Image: s.yume/Flickr