Lalit Gupta, the Joint director general of Civil Aviation has hinted that Wi-Fi connectivity in flights in India may soon be a reality. He went on to add, “We’re awaiting clearance from the Department of Telecommunications, which is changing a few of its rules, after which the Union cabinet’s clearance will be needed,” while talking to the Times of India about the in-flight Wi-Fi. Centre government is likely to issue the permit for in-flight Wi-Fi internet by the end of August 2017.
Roland Bergers, a global consultant recently conducted a study that pointed out that more and more customers want internet access and will choose the flights with Wi-Fi connection over the flights that do not provide internet access. The study points that airlines can make money both by monetising the Wi-Fi and also from targeted shopping, advertising and sponsoring.
International airlines are in conversation with the aviation ministry as they have to turn off the Wi-Fi while entering the Indian airspace. The airlines that have to follow this guideline include Air France, KLM, Lufthansa, British Airways, Singapore Airlines, Emirates, Qatar, and Etihad Airlines.
Jet Airways and SpiceJet will get the Boeing 737 MAX with Wi-Fi by mid- 2018. Airlines like Jet Airways and Vistara have been offering a library of preloaded content that can be downloaded on devices by using the aircraft’s Wi-Fi which is a local area network and not the actual internet. According to the report, SpiceJet will start providing a similar facility by June-end.