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Internet and mobile services on board

On long-haul flights the FlyNet WLAN-Hotspot onboard provides a very good Internet connection allowing passengers to surf and to use data services via mobile data communication (GSM). This includes not only fast Internet access, but also access to social media, and the possibility to send e-mails with file attachments or dial into company intranet via VPN (Virtual Private Network).

FlyNet is available on nearly every aircraft of the Lufthansa long-haul fleet. The system is currently being fitted on to the new A380s, which will be finished by the end of 2014. Through the world-wide coverage using satellites, FlyNet can be offered on all long-haul flights. Due to a pending license to be granted by Chinese authorities, FlyNet switches off when entering Chinese airspace and on again automatically when leaving it.

Online worldwide via satellite

We take the Internet for granted when we use it on the ground, but offering this service 10,000 meters above the clouds is a complex undertaking. Geostationary satellites circle the earth 36,000 kilometers up, and FlyNet communicates with them. These satellites are like a string of pearls around the earth directly above the equator. To provide on-board Internet access, an antenna is installed in the fuselage of the plane which establishes and maintains a connection with the satellites during a flight. As the aircraft flies along its route, it sends signals to the nearest satellite. These signals are transmitted from the satellite the ground and then received again. It is important to have a line of sight from the aircraft to the satellite. When the aircraft leaves the range of one satellite, the connection is transferred to a neighboring satellite.

Services at a glance:

  • Surf the Internet or send e-mails
  • Access company intranet via VPN (Virtual Private Network)
  • Read news that’s updated every 15 minutes free in the FlyNet portal
  • Follow sports events live and free of charge on Sport 24
  • Access information about connecting flights
  • Communicate by SMS or MMS
  • In response to the wishes of a majority of customers, it is not possible to make phone calls on board
  • Same applies to the use of Voice over IP, for example Skype is not permitted on board

How FlyNet works

FlyNet is very easy to use. After opening the browser, passengers get automatically redirected to the free Lufthansa FlyNet portal. Here, weather forecasts can be found as well as the latest business, political, sports and entertainment news. Passengers are able to find out about connecting flights or tune into the English-language live TV channel, Sport 24. Fees apply for Internet access provided by Deutsche Telekom through HotSpots onboard. In addition, it is possible to get online in-flight using the GSM service through integrated roaming partner. Billing for the use of the mobile technology in this case is settled through the mobile operator’s monthly invoice.

FlyNet over time

  • 2000: The FlyNet concept is presented
  • 2003: The first Lufthansa long-haul flight with broad band Internet connection takes off
  • 2006: Already 69 aircraft of the Lufthansa long-haul fleet are fitted with FlyNet
  • 2012: Live TV was inaugurated. In the meantime sending of SMS and MMS on board is possible.
  • 2013: More than 90% of all long-haul aircrafts are fitted with FlyNet
  • 2014: 100% of long-haul aircrafts will be fitted with FlyNet
Facts and Figures
  • Lufthansa FlyNet partner:
    Panasonic Avionics Corporation, Deutsche Telekom
  • Transmission:
    Satellite based broadband system
  • Current prices for FlyNet access can be found here

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