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Old 09-22-2006, 10:41 PM   #1
Bob Russell
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Panasonic wifi on airplanes may replace Connexion

We recently reported on the failure of the Connexion wifi service for air passengers. Many travelers were quite disappointed that it wasn't going to be a thriving service. Fortunately, there's good news on the horizon...

Panasonic may take over where Boeing Connexion failed. According to Inflight Online, the service is very close: “We have a complete system designed, developed and ready to go,” strategic marketing director David Bruner told Inflight Online at the WAEA show in Miami Beach last week. “But we’re determined to avoid one of the things that brought Connexion down – lack of an initial fleet big enough to assure acceptable pricing for the airlines.”

“We’re intent on learning from what happened to Connexion,” said Bruner. “9/11 lost them their start-up fleet, and after that they were always struggling to catch up. Our onboard equipment is lighter and cheaper, and our approach to buying transponder capacity is altogether more economical. We think these advantages will persuade the airlines and that in a couple of months’ time we’ll be ready to go ahead.”

It all depends on whether or not they can hit their goal of 500 airplanes signed up for the service. Let's hope they have a terrific sales force!
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