Austrian provided an update today as it relates to the introduction of Wifi aboard their Airbus fleet.

As part of a broader roll out, Austrian now has outfitted 10 narrow-body Airbus aircraft with Wifi capability and has ‘turned on’ the ability in 4 of these aircraft for a trial period with passengers.   During the trial period, passengers will be able to access the service for no charge.

As the service becomes available on the remaining 6 aircraft, Austrian will introduce a 3-tiered cost structure based on the kind of service that the passenger selects:

FlyNet Messaging will enable passengers to access their e-mail, chat services such as WhatsApp, iMessage, and others.   FlyNet messaging will cost €3 per flight.

FlyNet Surf will include FlyNet Messaging as well as the ability to surf the internet via the passenger’s smart device or laptop.   FlyNet Surf will cost €7 per flight.

FlyNet Stream will include ‘Messaging’ and ‘Surf’ as well as the ability to video to their device.   FlyNet Stream will cost €12 per flight.

Austrian has made it its policy to prevent these services from allowing voice-calls to be made while using FlyNet.   A very good idea if you ask me.

Austrian expects the trial period to end in the in next few weeks for the 4 aircraft currently being used to test the connectivity.    Once that trial is complete, Austrian will ‘turn on’ the FlyNet service aboard the other 6 Airbus aircraft later this quarter.

I suspect that further announcements will be made relatively soon regarding the expansion of the service to the rest of the ‘OS’ fleet.