South Africa’s G-Connect In-Flight Wi-Fi will be available free of charge to Mango airline passengers on all enabled flights between Durban and Johannesburg.
The airline plans to break connectivity records during this time, and more than double its lead on the global uptake average of 8%. Mango’s G-Connect In-Flight Wi-Fi service was launched in May this year. The gratis period runs from December through to 31 January 2013.
Mango expects to transport more than 75 000 passengers on the Durban – Johannesburg route between 11 December and 31 January 2013. “In line with our current above average uptake ratio of approximately 9-10%, our aim is to break all records with a target of more or less 20% of traveller volume on the route,” says Mango CEO Nico Bezuidenhout. Should Mango achieve this, it would be the highest in-flight Wi-Fi usage ratio ever achieved on any route, anywhere.
With an up-time of over 95% and average speeds of 1Mbs on enabled aircraft, the G-Connect In-Flight Wi-Fi service exceeds many terrestrial line speeds. “Even during beta-phase, system performance has been exceptional,” says CEO of G-Connect parent Wireless-G Carel van der Merwe, “and we are confident that when we put the service to the ultimate test by inviting a legion of connections, it will stand up to the challenge.” Van der Merwe adds that the record attempt will play a pivotal role in ensuring technical readiness as the system exits its beta-phase.
Next year Mango and G-Connect plan to introduce on-demand entertainment, live television and limited games across its In-Flight Wi-Fi network.
“Imagine an experience beyond email, browsing and tweeting; a fully interactive and user-led entertainment basket available at the click of a mouse or a swipe on a tablet,” says Bezuidenhout, who adds that G-Connect In-Flight Wi-Fi marked the beginning of a new phase in the airline’s history, a future-focused path of network and fleet expansion as well as the introduction of more technology to enhance Mango’s overall travel experience.
Recently Mango became the first South African airline to offer a booking and payment channel through its mobi-site with plans afoot to launch an iPad application soon.