You are here: Home » Current Affairs » News » National
Business Standard

Good news: Soon, fliers in India may get WiFi internet on board flights

The Pilot-in-Command may permit the access of internet services by passengers on board an aircraft in flight, the government has said in a notification

BS Web Team  |  New Delhi 

in-flight connectivity, wifi
The government has permitted airlines operating in India to provide internet access to passengers. Photo: Shutterstock

Air passengers in India can now access in-flight Wi-Fi internet services, as the Union civil aviation ministry, in a long-awaited move, has lifted the restrictions. Through a notification issued on Monday, the government permitted airlines operating in India to provide internet access to passengers.

"The Pilot-in-Command may permit access of internet services by passengers on board an aircraft in flight, through Wi-Fi on board, when laptop, smartphone, tablet, smartwatch, e-reader or a point-of-sale device is used in flight mode or airplane mode," the government said in its notification.

In February, Tata group's NELCO, in partnership with Panasonic Avionics had launched in-flight Wi-Fi services in India. While taking the delivery of its first Boeing 787-9 aircraft at Everett on last Friday, CEO Leslie Thng had said it would be the first plane in India to avail of this facility and provide in-flight Wi-Fi services.


In September 2018, Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan had said access to internet services on domestic and international flights in India would be given soon as the guidelines had been finalised.

Globally, many airlines are already offering wi-fi for passengers, but they currently have to switch off the facility when they enter the Indian airspace. AirAsia, Air France, British Airways, Egypt Air, Emirates, Air New Zealand, Malaysia Airlines, Qatar Airways and Virgin Atlantic are among 30 airlines that already allow mobile phone use on aircraft.

What is In-Flight Connectivity (IFC)
In-Flight Connectivity (IFC) aims to enable making calls and internet services during flights in the Indian airspace and availability of wi-fi is also expected to provide local airlines with an additional source of revenues amid stiff competition in the fast-growing Indian aviation market.

First Published: Mon, March 02 2020. 10:58 IST
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU