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PCCW NETVIGATOR offers inflight email on Cathay Pacific aircraft

Search ASIA Travel Tips .com 12 March 2003

Cathay Pacific Airways, in partnership with Hong Kong Internet service provider PCCW NETVIGATOR, began offering email service this week on more than half of its fleet. 

This is the first time that email access has been introduced on such large numbers of airliners in scheduled service, as well as the first time that it has been deployed on aircraft to a wide range of long-haul destinations. Cathay  Pacific plans to offer the service on its entire fleet by year-end.

Cathay Pacific Airways Director of Marketing James Barrington said: "We are looking forward to offering NETVIGATOR Inflight from this month on over half of our fleet. Cathay Pacific is the only airline in the world offering this level of connectivity."

Dominic Leung, Executive VP of PCCW's Consumer Group said: "NETVIGATOR Inflight is part of our total solution in connectivity, extending internet access to customers from broadband at home to wireless hotspots in Hong Kong and now even email in the air". PCCW NETVIGATOR is the first ISP in the world to offer inflight email.

Alan McGinnis, CEO of Seattle-based Tenzing Communications said: "Customers win when Tenzing, Cathay Pacific and PCCW work together to offer this inflight email solution. They get the right product at the right price, right now."

Cathay Pacific is initially providing the email service to passengers in first, business and the front rows of economy class. Access will be free until June, when passengers will begin paying a modest charge of $9.95 to read  the headers of their emails throughout the flight, plus a further 60 cents for each kilobyte that they read or send (equivalent to about a page of text). Special rates will be available to @netvigator.com account holders. 

Passengers access their emails on their own laptop computers aboard the aircraft, using Tenzing software. The connection to the General Dynamics server that sends and receives the emails is via the aircraft's existing in-flight entertainment system.

Tenzing has also developed a means for passengers to send SMS telephone messages while in flight, and this has been in service aboard other Airbus aircraft since August 2002.

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