Boeing 787s to get satellite Internet, phone calls

Boeing 787s to get satellite Internet, phone calls

2014 could be The Year of Sky-High Surfing for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, with both the original 787-8 and the longer 787-9 expected to include inflight Internet on their list of 'optional extras'.

Airlines ordering the Dreamliner can tailor the next-gen jet through a series of tick-a-box choices including the type of seats, galleys, toilets and crew rest seats.

They can even opt to leave out the upstairs crew rest loft areas, as Jetstar has done with its 787 fleet, if the plane won't be flying on extra-long routes.

See: Cool photos – inside the Boeing 787's funky crew rest 'loft'

According to Mary Kirby's RunwayGirl Network blog, Boeing has settled on two satellite-based systems to be offered on the 787-8 and 787-9.

Both platforms permit inflight Internet and mobile phone calls, although of course airlines can choose to disable the inflight cellphone service and restrict travellers to Internet access.

"A Boeing spokesman confirms that linefit offerability of Thales’ TopConnect inflight connectivity solution 'will be firmed up soon for customers in mid-2014 and beyond'", Kirby reports, while Panasonic Avionics’ eXConnect platform "will be available on the 787-8 later in 2014” according to the Boeing spokesman.

Air New Zealand is the worldwide launch customer for the Boeing 787-9, with the first commercial flight scheduled for 15 October 2014 on the Auckland-Perth route. Services from Auckland to Tokyo and Shanghai will follow.

Each of Air New Zealand's ten Boeing 787-9s will see a three-class configuration of 18 seats in business class, 21 in premium economy and 263 in economy.

Photos, video: Air New Zealand's Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner seats

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David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.


  • spudseamus


    9 Dec, 2013 11:06 am

    A great step forward BUT I have to say I'm not in favor of actual phone calls !!!  Text ,email, ect but I think my aversion to loud mouthed phone calls in the lounge dosent bode well in the confines of what people are saying is a much quieter plane !

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  • gumshoe


    9 Dec, 2013 12:08 pm

    Phone calls on aircraft that will drive us all crazy, no way is that acceptable as Spud says.

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  • Serg


    9 Dec, 2013 02:33 pm

    Yea, but clever guys can use Skype if internet available :-) Though everything can be disabled except of HTTP, but then I see little point of having internet at first place. For me personally it would be enough if I can do emails and/or SMS with preference to emails.

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  • MHerbert


    9 Dec, 2013 02:24 pm

    Phone calls would put the 787 firmly on my avoid list.

    Phone calls in the lounge are bad enough when people have no concept of an 'inside voice'.

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  • TheRealBabushka


    9 Dec, 2013 05:34 pm

    Let's try flying for a year first without any dramas then push the bar ;)

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18 Jul, 2019 01:12 pm


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