You won’t be channel surfing to your heart’s content, but it’s a big step – Norwegian Airlines has just become the first to offer live TV on its European flight network. If you’re flying with them soon you’ll be able to tune in to Bloomberg TV and Norway’s TV 2 News live on any of 87 WiFi equipped Norwegian planes.
It’s good news for British travellers as it was launched on a flight from Oslo to Berlin recently and will be made available on flights from the UK to 29 destinations all over Europe.
So if you’re jetting off in the next few weeks on a winter timeshare break from Gatwick, Edinburgh, Birmingham or Manchester and happen to be heading to a European resort, you’ll be one of the first to get to enjoy the new live TV!
How does it work? Basically, you use your handheld device to watch by connecting to the free WiFi on board all Norwegian aircraft.
Norwegian’s CEO Bjorn Kjos said: “We’re very excited to be the first airline in Europe to offer live television on board. Introducing Bloomberg Television and TV 2 News to our passengers opens the door to more content choices and a better overall inflight experience. By offering free WiFi with complementary live television, we are setting the stage for a passenger experience like no other in the sky.”
To make it happen, Norwegian collaborated with RiksTV, one of its national cable TV providers and Global Eagle Entertainment, a worldwide provider of in-flight connectivity systems.
Consider the number of people who want or need WiFi and live news access almost 24/7, this breakthrough is likely to set the stage for more developments in the same vein. It’s especially frustrating for business people – e.g. on longer flights – not to be able to use onboard WiFi or check news updates. For many of us, the flight is the worst part of a holiday – the boredom factor, the waiting to board, the lack of seating space, the lack of things to do, having to keep the children occupied, losing valuable time in the air when we could be catching up on work or personal stuff.
In August, Norwegian revealed UK passengers’ favourite websites and surfing habits and news sites ranked in the top 3 most visited sites overall, so the new live TV service looks set to be well received.
Over the last year, Norwegian has grown into the third biggest airline at Gatwick, flying almosts 4 million UK passengers to 34 destinations, including the UK’s only low-cost direct flights to the USA. Also worth noting is Norwegian’s actual aircraft fleet – it’s among the newest fleet in the world – the planes are an average of four years old.