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Will We Ever See WiFi On Regional Jets?  
User currently offlineAVLAirlineFreq From United States of America, joined Jun 2008, 1009 posts, RR: 0
Posted (4 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 5741 times:

As stage lengths on regional jets get longer and their frequency increases on routes that were previously the domain of mainline equipment (I was twice on an ERJ this week for a 2+ hour flight), is there any chance we'll see WiFi on regional jets in the future?

I appreciate that the per-flight economics may not currently work with an average customer base of 50 passengers per flight (and given the typical short stage length of an RJ flight, many of those same passengers may not be willing to ante up). Is there any chance that the economics would ever work? Are there any technical reasons why WiFi wouldn't be feasible on a CRJ or ERJ?

14 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineAirTran737 From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 3702 posts, RR: 12
Reply 1, posted (4 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 5732 times:
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I'd rather see comfort on a RJ before WiFi. I think FL said it cost them $100,000 per plane to equip it with WifFi. With the way regional operators swap fleets around I cannot see them making an investment like that in their fleets.


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User currently offlineFRNT787 From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 1317 posts, RR: 15
Reply 2, posted (4 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 5607 times:

Frontier Airlines will have it on all E170 and E190 aircraft. As to comfort the E170 and E190 have seats very similar to the A320s and the same legroom to boot. The E145s and CRJs are a different story though.

Depending on your definition of Regional Jet though, you will start seeing it this year with Frontier.



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User currently offlinescutfarcus From United States of America, joined May 2000, 389 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (4 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 5511 times:

Probably, but would you be capable of using it with the laptop literally against your face?   Seriously I get carpal tunnel in about 3 minutes when trying to use a laptop on an RJ. It's awful.

User currently offlineAirframeAS From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 14150 posts, RR: 24
Reply 4, posted (4 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 5486 times:

Quoting FRNT787 (Reply 2):
As to comfort the E170 and E190 have seats very similar to the A320s and the same legroom to boot.

I have not seen the green seats in any E170/190 that RW currently operates now.... At least, I have not heard of anything yet.



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User currently offlineYXwatcherMKE From United States of America, joined May 2007, 960 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (4 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 5382 times:

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 4):

The seats may not be the F9 green leather, however they are as FRNT787 stated they are as comfortable as any mainliner I have been on. And I have been on many of them. The E-170/190's that are now in the F9 fleet were set up to the YX standards and they are very nice seats.



I miss the 60's & 70's when you felt like a guest on the plane not cattle like today
User currently offlineDeltAirlines From United States of America, joined May 1999, 8892 posts, RR: 12
Reply 6, posted (4 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 5272 times:

It might eventually make it to some of the 2-class RJs that are owned by a mainline carrier and subsequently subleased to an RJ operator.

User currently offlineelbandgeek From United States of America, joined Jun 2008, 753 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (4 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 5212 times:

I see no reason why the CR7/9s and EJets won't get it eventually considering they fly alot of routes longer than some mainline. If AC can put PTVs on them, I don't see why wifi couldn't work. I could imagine (for example) DL trialing it with CP OH and XJ and seeing how it goes and then later on figure out installing it on the contracted flying.

User currently offlinethegreatRDU From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 2310 posts, RR: 4
Reply 8, posted (4 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 5094 times:

First the seats should not recline at least in Y...


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User currently offlinehatbutton From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 1500 posts, RR: 14
Reply 9, posted (4 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 4904 times:

Quoting AirTran737 (Reply 1):
I think FL said it cost them $100,000 per plane to equip it with WifFi.

Is it really that much? I seem to remember AS saying we went with Gogo because once you had the deal with them, it cost almost nothing to install the system on the plane. There are a couple small antennas on the bottom of the aircraft and a few other things. Wouldn't think it'd cost $100k.


User currently offlinesuisjes From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 70 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (4 years 1 month 1 week 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 3309 times:

The deal was go go (Aircell) pays for the the install and gets a % of the profits from the customers who choose to buy the wifi

User currently offlinetharanga From United States of America, joined Apr 2009, 1854 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (4 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 3146 times:

It's inevitable as the installation costs get lower over time, regardless of who's footing the up-front bill for the installation.

User currently onlinePSU.DTW.SCE From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 7502 posts, RR: 28
Reply 12, posted (4 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 3012 times:

50 seaters - most likely not.
- Less passengers to spread costs / less market potential
- Shorter stage length of flights (yes there are a number of 2+ hour flights on RJs but that vast majority are still on flights where the actual usable time above 10,000 ft is less than 30 minute
- Cabin ergonomics make it difficult to even use a laptop and/or view the screen on the 50 seat RJs

2-Class RJ's - maybe
- Likely the 2-class RJs that fly longer stage lengths may see wifi
- Depending on who owns the airframes and who is going to pay for the installation


User currently offlinegatorfan From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 331 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (4 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 2991 times:

Does anyone know what one of these systems weighs? The economic of the marginal costs in terms of higher weights being carried on every flight versus utilization must be interesting.

User currently offlineairbazar From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 8158 posts, RR: 10
Reply 14, posted (4 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 2968 times:

Quoting hatbutton (Reply 9):
Is it really that much? I seem to remember AS saying we went with Gogo because once you had the deal with them, it cost almost nothing to install the system on the plane. There are a couple small antennas on the bottom of the aircraft and a few other things. Wouldn't think it'd cost $100k.

The hardware may be cheap but the labor isn't. It's like when you take your car to the garage to replace a $30 water pump and in the end you're presented with a $600 bill  )


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