KLM has begun installing wifi technology on a number of its Boeing 737 fleet of aircraft. The first Boeing 737-800 is now equipped to offer this service. To achieve this, KLM has partnered with communications company Viasat, which will supply and maintain the necessary technology. Viasat’s wifi equipment will be installed on a total of 18 Boeing 737-800s. The schedule calls for this installation to be completed by the end of this year.

    Commenting on the initiative, KLM’s EVP of customer experience, Boet Kreiken said: “KLM continues to invest in the on-board product, so that we can continue to meet our customers’ expectations and emerge from this crisis stronger than ever. On-board wifi is an important service that customers want to enjoy for the entire duration of their journey. 

    “KLM’s internet service is already being used extensively on our intercontinental flights. Through this partnership with Viasat, we are ensuring that our customers can be online on European flights as well.”

    Different packages available

    Internet connections are made possible by connecting passenger devices directly to Viasat’s European satellite. During the flight, KLM offers a choice of three internet packages: Messaging, Surf and Stream.

    Messaging allows passengers to send and receive messages via WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, WeChat and so on, free of charge. Those who want to use more data can pay a fee and select either Surf or Stream. Customers can choose the package that best suits their needs. Those who want to watch movies should choose Stream, while Surf offers enough data for those who just want to shop online or read news articles. Passengers can purchase the internet packages via the KLM Portal during their flight.

     The portal provides access not only to the internet, but also to upgrades for connecting and return flights; service in the event of delays and cancellations; and services offered by travel partners, such as booking excursions. 

    A passenger at risk of missing their connection due to a delay, for example, can rebook their next flight  with a later departure time via the portal. An economy class passenger who wants to upgrade to Economy Comfort on the return trip can arrange this for themselves on the way to their destination.

    Intercontinental connections arriving soon

    KLM already offers wifi on board its Boeing 787 and Airbus A330 fleets and is currently installing it on its Boeing 777 aircraft. As it stands now, 81 per cent of the intercontinental fleet is equipped with an internet connection. Passengers are expected to have internet access on board all intercontinental aircraft by the first quarter of 2022.

    Earlier this month, KLM Cargo carried out the first operational flight using 172 ‘Cargo Seat Bags’, which were designed in collaboration with equipment supplier Trip & Co.