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December 3, 2014

Ryanair to roll out inflight Wi-Fi within two years

European passengers to get free internet within the next 18 to 24 months.

By Amy-Jo Crowley

Ryanair is in talks with Wi-Fi providers to provide free and reliable internet access across the European airspace.

The budget carrier, which recently completed the purchase of 100 Boeing 737 Max 200s, is set to make a raft of changes including in-flight Wi-Fi, transatlantic flights and the introduction of ‘smiley face’ interiors in planes, according to the Irish Independent.

The airline’s chief marketing officer Kenny Jacobs told the paper: "We want to do it, and we are going to do it. We’re probably going to do it within the next 18-24 months. But we want to find the right technology.

"Wi-Fi is one of those technologies that is more advanced in the US, because you have the Gogo network from the aircraft down to the ground.

He added: "In Europe, it works by satellite so a) it’s not as good a service for customers using it on board and b) it’s more expensive. If you’re an airline you’ve got to install something at the top of the aircraft which introduces 0.3pc to 0.5pc drag, which adds millions to the fuel bill."

When asked will the Wi-Fi be charged, he said: "Nope. We’d envisage that being a free service."

"We’ve started to talk to some of the more well-established Wi-Fi providers with a view to having a service up and running not in the next 12 months, but hopefully soon after," he said.

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