MIAMI — British Airways (BA) started to connect 118 long-haul aircraft with high-speed Wi-Fi, offering the new service in three airliners.

The long-haul fleet will be entirely connected by the next two years with high-speed bandwidth, making internet available approximately ten minutes after take-off when the aircraft has passed 10,000ft.

Radome encasing two satellite antenna for internet access onboard British Airways aircraft at T5, London Heathrow.
(PHOTO: by Nick Morrish/British Airways)

The carrier will advise its customers of the availability of Wi-Fi when they board a connected aircraft, according to British Airways. Through a partnership made with Visa, passengers may connect with the onboard Wi-Fi entirely free for an hour.

British Airways operates a fleet composed of 273 aircraft from which 118 will offer the new service. The airline serves over 160 destinations of which only six are domestic.

BA will offer two paid-for Wi-Fi packages: The ‘Browse’ package, which supports internet surfing, social media, and WhatsApp, or the ‘Stream’ package, which supports streaming of music and entertainment from online content services, including Netflix.

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The packages are available to purchase for one hour, four hours, or the full flight. Prices for the Browse package begin from £4.99 and Stream from £7.99.

“British Airways has launched its multi-million-pound investment plan to benefit its customers with more choice and quality for all,” said Carolina Martinoli, British Airways’ Director of Brand and Customer Experience.

“Staying connected is important to our customers who want to be able to work, browse and stream in the air. They can now look forward to enjoying the latest generation Wi-Fi across our long-haul fleet over the next two years.”

READ MORE: Airlines Update Progress with Inflight Wi-Fi

The airline also announced £600 million will be spent on Club World with an emphasis on improved catering and sleep, and a new seat in the future.