Air New Zealand has begun the first operational trials of its new onboard Wi-Fi service, which eventually will be rolled out across its international jet fleet.

The first of Air New Zealand’s aircraft to be fitted for Wi-Fi is a Boeing 777-300ER. More will be fitted during the next few months, and the airline intends to introduce the service on the remainder of its 777-300ERs by June 2018. The carrier plans to begin introducing Wi-Fi in its 777-200ERs from April 2018.

The airline said the initial trial is not just intended to test technical aspects, but will also be used to “gather feedback on pricing options.” Air New Zealand plans to allow customers to choose to “sign up for different timeframes,” with various payment options.

Air New Zealand is using Inmarsat’s global GX satellite constellation, and has also partnered with Panasonic Avionics for cabin technology.

Adrian Schofield avweekscho@gmail.com