American to Test Aircell Video System

By Tish Drake | May 4, 2011
Send Feedback

American Airlines said Tuesday it will be the first North American airline to test the new in-flight streaming video product from Aircell that will allow passengers to wirelessly stream content such as movies and TV shows from an in-flight library to their personal Wi-Fi-enabled devices during flight.

American, partnering with Aircell, is currently testing the new in-flight video system on two Boeing 767-200s in transcontinental service, and plans to begin customer testing early this summer. The airline’s goal is to roll out this product on Wi-Fi-enabled aircraft starting this fall pending FAA certifications.

“American was the first North American airline to launch in-flight Wi-Fi, and today we again set a new industry standard as the first domestic airline to test inflight streaming video content,” said Rob Friedman, American’s vice president, marketing. “We know our customers want to be connected on the ground and in the sky, so we are working hard to stay on the leading edge of connectivity through technology enhancements like this.”

In addition, American will expand in-flight Wi-Fi to its narrowbody fleet, including additional MD80s and domestic Boeing 757-200s, completing its Wi-Fi offering on all of its domestic aircraft dedicated to flying within the continental United States. The Wi-Fi expansion will include 93 of American’s domestic 757s used for routes within the continental United States, and up to 50 additional MD80 aircraft. Installation will begin this summer and continue through 2012. In addition, American continues to install Wi-Fi service on its entire fleet of 737-800 aircraft.

The Aircell system three small antennas installed outside the aircraft and connects to Aircell’s exclusive nationwide mobile broadband network.

Receive the latest avionics news right to your inbox