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In a move that’s been a long time coming, Cathay Pacific announced that in 2016, its twelve new Airbus A350s will come equipped with wireless internet capability, signaling this world-class Asian carrier’s entrance into the in-flight WiFi game.

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TPG holds Cathay Pacific’s First Class cabin in high regard, and feels that its comfort and service make it one of the best experiences he’s had in the sky. In recent years, however, the airline has been missing one thing that passengers have started to rely on when flying internationally: in-flight WiFi.

When you’re flying to Asia for 13+ hours, especially when traveling for business, having WiFi access is key — so it’s great to see that Cathay Pacific is rounding out their experience with WiFi. No word yet on what the cost will be, but there are plans to allow premium cabin passengers to preview the service at no cost.

“Our provider, Panasonic Avionics Corporation, has been working for some time to secure the regulatory approvals needed to operate onboard WiFi capability for Cathay Pacific, with issues still to be resolved in some of the airspace on our route network.” said Toby Smith, Cathay Pacific’s General Manager Product, in September of last year. “Once this approval has been granted and we’re able to provide the service globally, we will start the rollout in earnest.”

In-flight WiFi is expected to be operational on the new Airbus 350s when they’re delivered in 2016, and Cathay Pacific plans to retrofit all other planes in the fleet eventually.

Hat Tip: View from the Wing

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