Aer Lingus to provide wifi on short-haul flights

Airline’s parent IAG to roll-out 4G services next year, with goal of 90% of fleet by 2019

Aer Lingus is to introduce high-speed inflight wifi for passengers on short-haul flights from next year after agreeing a deal with provider Inmarsat.

The airline's parent International Airlines Group (IAG) said up to 341 of its aircraft, including 39 Aer Lingus A320s, will be fitted with Inmarsat's next generation services to provide a 4G broadband network for passengers. The service will give passengers broadband internet access across multiple mobile devices with connection speeds similar to what they have at home.

The first short-haul aircraft equipped with wifi connectivity – a British Airways A321 – will be in service next summer. Aer Lingus, Iberia and Vueling aircraft will follow later in 2017.

IAG said it is aiming to have wifi connectivity available on 90 per cent of its fleet of 541 aircraft by 2019.


"We are giving our customers the fastest connectivity you can get on any aircraft. Having announced wifi for long-haul flights earlier this year we are now equipping our airlines' short-haul fleets with in-flight broadband access," said chief executive Willie Walsh.

“Connectivity is essential because it’s what our customers demand and IAG will be the first European airline group to offer high-quality air to ground wifi on short-haul flights,” he added.

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor is a former Irish Times business journalist