Sigh! High Hopes for Air India’s In-Flight Wi-Fi Dashed

Air India’s plans to have Wi-Fi aboard its aircraft will not take off. An existent DGCA rule does not allow aircraft, Indian or foreign, to provide Wi-Fi.
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Air India’s plans to have Wi-Fi aboard its aircraft will not take off, according to report. In fact, no airline Indian or foreign is allowed to have Wi-Fi in-flight according to a existent DGCA rule.

The Lottery of Scale

Debt-laden Air India had planned on the Wi-Fi service to help plug the losses emerging out of its international routes.

AI had come across the rule while preparing to get Wi-Fi onboard its aircraft. An AI team had met OnAir – a company that provides internet and mobile connectivity when they discovered the problem. A presentation had shown that all flights above Indian airspace whether Indian or foreign, had to shut off Wi-Fi.

An AI official said that a request has been made to the Government to lift the ban and to start negotiations for the same between the Home Ministry and Telecom ministry (via).

Air India had planned to bring on board French in-flight entertainment company Thales for implementing the service.

Indian aviation rules also do not allow the use of personal electronic devices aboard aircraft. The US’ Federal Aviation Administration, meanwhile had allowed the usage of devices like e-books and watching videos onboard.

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