Vietnam Airlines is on track to become the first-ever Vietnamese air carrier to allow passengers to access the Internet aboard its aircraft, with in-flight Wi-Fi services slated to be available on selected planes starting October 10.
The service, using satellite Wi-Fi hotspots powered by the global communications provider Inmarsat, will be rolled out on four Airbus A350 jets, coded from VN-A886 to VN-A889, according to Nguyen Nam Tien, the carrier’s deputy head of communication and information.
These four planes are mostly used for international services connecting Vietnam and the East Asian region, in addition to some domestic flights.
“An icon will be shown at the boarding gate to let passengers know if the aircraft they are boarding offers in-flight Wi-Fi,” Tien said.
“Once they are on board, passengers will also be briefed on the service by the cabin crew.”
Wi-Fi access will become available when the plane reaches a safe altitude, and it will be disconnected as the aircraft starts landing.
Vietnam Airlines has yet to decide on pricing for the in-flight Internet service, but costs are expected to range somewhere between US$8 and $10 per flight. Passengers can pay with their credit cards.
According to Tien, the national flag carrier has plans to ultimately make the onboard Internet service available on its entire Airbus A350 fleet, as well as Airbus A321 and Boeing jets.
Many airlines around the world have started to offer in-flight Wi-Fi over the last few years, and Vietnam Airlines will be the first carrier in the Southeast Asian nation to do follow suit.