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Spirit Becomes First Ultra-Low-Cost Carrier to Offer Wi-Fi

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© Spirit Airlines Spirit is set to become the first ultra-low-cost carrier in the Americas to offer Wi-Fi. (photo courtesy of Spirit Airlines)

By Mia Taylor, TravelPulse

Breaking the mold for ultra-low-cost airlines everywhere, Spirit has announced it will soon begin offering Wi-Fi on its flights.

The airline has inked an agreement with Thales Group to install Wi-Fi on all of its planes by the summer of 2019, allowing passengers to watch, stream, surf, and text while in the air.

“We’re thrilled to enhance the in-flight guest experience with the addition of new-generation Wi-Fi,” Ted Christie, Spirit Airline’s president, said in a statement. “By next summer, every plane in our fleet should be fully equipped to keep our guests connected in the skies. It’s just one of the many investments we’ve made and will continue to make for our guests.”

Spirit operates the newest aircraft fleet in the country, Fit Fleet, and will become the first low-cost carrier in the Americas to offer Wi-Fi.

Thales Group, a global technology leader in the aerospace, defense and security, and transportation markets, is bringing its high-end Ka-band HTS (High Throughput Satellite) system to Spirit aircraft.

The technology will provide Spirit passengers with high-speed web browsing and streaming experiences similar to what they would find at home.

In 2021, the state-of-the-art technology is slated to get even better, with the launch of SES-17, a new satellite operated by SES and built by Thales Alenia Space, which will increase speeds and coverage to an unprecedented level in the industry.

Spirit Wi-Fi is projected to provide service coverage immediately for 97 percent of Spirit’s routes upon entry into service.

“Thales is proud to be partnering with Spirit to mark a new era of Guest experience in connectivity and bring solutions that make tomorrow possible today,” Dominique Giannoni, CEO of Thales InFlyt Experience, said in a statement. “We are focused on supporting Spirit’s mission and helping to shape new opportunities as we work together to provide an exceptional passenger experience.”

The Wi-Fi will not, however, be free. The airline will offer high-speed web browsing and streaming options starting with an average price of $6.50, with a cost range expected to be lower or higher based on the route and demand.

In-flight internet service is one of many improvements Spirit is working on as part of a pledge to keep improving and “Invest in the Guest.”

“We understand that flying for as little money as possible is only part of our promise,” said Christie. “We promise to go further. We’ll continue to listen to our guests, and they’ll continue to see our dedication to improving service for them. We’ll keep adding exciting new destinations, improving our check-in process, frequent flier program and in-flight experience, as well as continuing to dedicate ourselves to give back to the communities where we live and work.”

Christie introduced Spirit’s new “Invest in the Guest” pledge with the announcement of Wi-Fi installation.

“Our promise is to keep going, to keep improving, and to invest in our guests,” said Christie as part of the pledge. “We intend to improve our guests’ experience every chance we get.”

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