Singapore Airlines to offer live TV in-flight from June

Singapore Airlines this week began offering Internet access to passengers on flights between Singapore and London and will add live TV to the service from June.

Singapore Airlines this week began offering Internet access to passengers on flights between Singapore and London and will add live television to the service from June this year.

The Internet access service was launched on Monday on flight SQ320 from Singapore to London and is also available on SQ321, the return flight to Singapore, the airline said in a statement. The service will be extended to other flights.

Passengers can surf the Internet using The Boeing Co's Connexion by Boeing service, which delivers a 5M bps (bits per second) shared downstream and 1M bps shared upstream Internet connection to suitably equipped aircraft. The service costs US$30 for unlimited usage. A metered option is available that costs US$10 for 30 minutes of access and then US$0.25 per minute.

Singapore Airlines plans to expand the service in June to offer a handful of live television channels via the Connexion service, it said. The TV service will initially offer four channels for viewing on notebook computers. The airline has plans to expand the selection of television from the anticipated international news channels at launch to include sports channels and also to make them available via the personal TVs in each seat, it said.

Singapore Airlines is one of several airlines offering the Internet service and is scheduled to be the first to offer the live TV option.

Connexion by Boeing entered commercial service in May 2004 when Lufthansa began offering it on flights between Europe and the U.S. It's now available on many Lufthansa long-haul flights and is also being offered on some flights of SAS AB's Scandinavian Airline System. Japan's All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines System (JAL) have also launched service on selected flights.

Boeing has also signed deals with El Al Israel Airlines and Taiwan's China Airlines and preliminary deals with South Korea's Asiana Airlines and Korean Air.

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Martyn Williams

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