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Gogo to add wi-fi to American regional jets

Gogo LLC will equip 30 new American Airlines regional jets to offer inflight wireless service.

The Itasca company will install its air-to-ground equipment and Internet service on Bombardier CRJ-900 jets to be delivered to American beginning this month.

“American Airlines was the first commercial airline to launch connectivity service with Gogo, and we are excited to continue to build on our longstanding relationship with American by extending Wi-Fi service to passengers flying on its new regional jets,” Gogo president and CEO Michael Small said in a news release.

American and US Airways’ aircraft used on longer routes are already equipped for Gogo’s wireless services.

Meanwhile, Gogo intends to launch a new, faster wi-fi service in North American later this year that will use satellite technology along with its air-to-ground network. Gogo’s ground-to-orbit service will be competitive with new systems planned by Inmarsat and AT&T Inc.

Inmarsat, based in London, plans to offer 4G inflight broadband in Europe beginning in 2016. British Airways, which doesn’t offer wi-fi on its flights in Europe, is interested in the 4G service, CNNMoney reported Thursday.

AT&T and Honeywell in April announced a partnership to develop an air-to-ground network in the continental U.S. that could provide 4G LTE service for airlines and passengers in commercial, business and general aviation.

“Everyone wants access to high-speed, reliable mobile Internet wherever they are, including at 35,000 feet,” AT&T chief strategy officer John Stankey said.

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