Boeing to shut down in-flight Wi-Fi

The Boeing Co. will phase out its Connexion by Boeing service, leaving what it once considered a promising market for in-flight Internet access.

Connexion offers broadband Internet access via Wi-Fi, using a satellite connection to the Internet, that costs about US$10 to $30 per flight on commercial airlines. It also offers high-speed Internet access on executive jets and ships.

Connexion is offered on some commercial flights in Europe and Asia but was never adopted by a major U.S. carrier. First conceived in 2000, the service was approved by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration in May 2002 as the nation’s airlines were reeling from a travel slump that followed the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

“Regrettably, the market for this service has not materialized as had been expected,” Boeing said Thursday in a written statement attributed to Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Jim McNerney. The company will work with customers on an orderly phase-out of Connexion, Boeing said.

The aerospace giant’s foray into broadband has been expensive. In its financial results for this year’s second quarter, Boeing said it expects to take a pre-tax charge of $320 million, or $0.26 per share, spread over the remainder of 2006.

Related Download
Real-time visibility Sponsor: Interactive Intelligence
Real-time visibility
Get real-time visibility in the contact centre. See immediate benefits. Real-time visibility in the contact centre is crucial. When you do not have the info you need to make decisions, you lose out on the single best way to create a competitive advantage. Solving this issue is simple, though.
Register Now