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Korean Air removing Web service

Jan 30,2007
Korean Air is removing high-speed Internet equipment from its aircraft. The company said yesterday that it will begin taking out the equipment because Web service has stopped and the weight of the machines drives up fuel costs.
In-flight Internet on Korean Air was terminated Jan. 1 after the U.S. aircraft manufacturer Boeing decided last August to scrap its high-speed in-flight Internet division Connexion due to lack of profitability.
Korean Air had spent 400 million won ($425,305) per jet on 29 jets to have the Internet service equipment installed. The company declined to say how much money it spent on marketing the service.
The removal will take place when each jet goes in for planned depot maintenance, a “checkup” that aircraft receive every six months. The equipment should be removed from all 29 planes by late next year, according to Korean Air spokesman Lee Seung-ryeol.
The airline said last August that it “may seek compensation” after Boeing decided unilaterally to halt the in-flight Internet project.
However, it refused to comment yesterday on any negotiations with Boeing.
A spokeswoman for Boeing Korea also declined comment, saying that such matters were “sensitive and could not be spoken about.”
Mr. Lee said that Korean Air does not have any immediate plans to resume in-flight Internet service.
“I’m sure there are small firms that cover domestic flights, but we have to find an Internet solution provider that can cover global flights. We are seeking a new firm with airliners that were affected by Boeing’s withdrawal, such as Lufthansa and Singapore Airlines,” he said, but hinted that the company is not in a rush.
Asiana Airlines’ in-flight Internet is also no longer available, but only two planes were originally equipped with the service.


By Wohn Dong-hee Staff Writer [wohn@joongang.co.kr]


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