Delta Launches First Wi-Fi Equipped Regional Jet
Customers will have access to Wi-Fi on more than 250 Delta Connection two-class RJs by early next year; adding to more than 550 mainline Wi-Fi connected aircraft
ATLANTA, Sept. 7, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) today became the first airline in the world to provide in-flight Internet service onboard its regional aircraft with the launch flight of a Wi-Fi-equipped Bombardier CRJ700 operated by Delta Connection carrier Atlantic Southeast Airlines. Delta had previously announced its plan to expand the number of Delta aircraft – which currently includes its entire domestic fleet of more than 550 aircraft – with onboard Wi-Fi to an additional 250 regional jet aircraft operated by Delta Connection carriers. Delta will be the first carrier to deploy Wi-Fi across its entire mainline and two-class regional fleet, a total of more than 800 aircraft.
The first regional jet equipped with Wi-Fi departed from Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport with scheduled stops in Omaha, Neb., Des Moines, Iowa and White Plains, N.Y. throughout the day. To celebrate the occasion, all passengers on the inaugural flight of the Wi-Fi-equipped regional jet will receive complimentary Gogo access. The first passengers departing Atlanta received complimentary 30-day Wi-Fi service courtesy of Delta and Gogo that can be used for future travel. Passengers will be encouraged to tweet using #DeltaRJWifi on today's flights to receive randomly selected gifts from Delta and Gogo.
"With the addition of Gogo in-flight Internet service on Delta Connection two-class regional aircraft, more than 81,000 additional customers daily will be able to stay connected just like they do onboard Delta's mainline fleet," said Bob Kupbens, Delta's vice president – eCommerce. "We continue to innovate and lead the industry with customer-centric technology so customers can do things such as track their bags, check the status of their next flight, check email or connect with social networks while in flight."
Installations of Wi-Fi on Delta Connection jets will be complete by early next year. Once complete, all customers flying on Delta domestic flights with a First Class cabin will enjoy Wi-Fi access, including service on every Delta Shuttle flight between New York-LaGuardia and Boston, Chicago-O'Hare and Washington, D.C.
Delta began installing Wi-Fi on domestic mainline aircraft in 2008, becoming the first airline to announce plans for in-flight Internet service on all domestic aircraft. With its mainline aircraft and the addition of regional jets to the Wi-Fi program, more than 80 percent of Delta's entire domestic fleet will feature Gogo in-flight Internet access. Customers can stay connected using Gogo in-flight Internet with free access to delta.com or Delta's mobile applications.
Delta Connection aircraft featuring First Class cabins include Embraer 170, Embraer 175, Bombardier CRJ700 and Bombardier CRJ900 models operated by Delta Connection. The aircraft feature between nine and 12 seats in First Class and between 56 and 64 seats in Economy.
In addition to Wi-Fi, Delta has taken a number of steps to fully align service on Delta Connection and mainline flights. Recent improvements have included adding First Class cabins to 82 additional CRJ700 jets; introducing meal service in First Class on regional jets; and adding china, linen and silverware to Delta Connection First Class cabins.
Delta's regional jet Wi-Fi investments are the latest in the airline's previously announced plan to invest more than $2 billion in enhanced global products, services and airport facilities through 2013. In addition to installing Wi-Fi and upgrading its domestic fleet, Delta will offer full flat-bed seats on more than 140 widebody aircraft, feature personal, in-seat entertainment for both BusinessElite and Economy class customers on all widebody flights, and complete new terminal facilities for international customers at its two largest global gateways – Atlanta and New York-JFK.
Delta Air Lines serves more than 160 million customers each year, and was named by Fortune magazine as the most admired airline worldwide in its 2011 World's Most Admired Companies airline industry list. With an industry-leading global network, Delta and the Delta Connection carriers offer service to 339 destinations in 59 countries on six continents. Headquartered in Atlanta, Delta employs 80,000 employees worldwide and operates a mainline fleet of more than 700 aircraft. A founding member of the SkyTeam global alliance, Delta participates in the industry's leading trans-Atlantic joint venture with Air France-KLM and Alitalia. Including its worldwide alliance partners, Delta offers customers more than 13,000 daily flights, with hubs in Amsterdam, Atlanta, Cincinnati, Detroit, Memphis, Minneapolis-St. Paul, New York-JFK, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Salt Lake City and Tokyo-Narita. The airline's service includes the SkyMiles frequent flier program, a world-class airline loyalty program; the award-winning BusinessElite service; and more than 50 Delta Sky Clubs in airports worldwide. Delta is investing more than $2 billion through 2013 in airport facilities and global products, services and technology to enhance the customer experience in the air and on the ground. Customers can check in for flights, print boarding passes, check bags and review flight status at delta.com.