Modifications For Soon-To-Be-Defunct Service Cost $12
This could be just the
beginning of the fallout over Boeing's announcement last week it
was discontinuing its six-year-old Connexion
by Boeing in-flight wireless internet service, as an
official with Korean Air says the airline plans on going after the
American planemaker for the cost of making its fleet compatible
with the service.
"We are planning to make such a request," the official told The
Korea Times this week.
To date, Connexion is flying in about 29 Korean Air planes --
accounting for a full 16 percent of all global aircraft offering
the service. Each aircraft carrying Connexion required $400,000 in
equipment and modification costs, according to Korean Air.
What's more, that $12 million estimate may prove to be
optimistic, as many expect the pricetag to rise even higher. In
addition to the planes already flying, Korean Air had plans to
install Connexion on an additional 25 airplanes by 2008, in its
role as the first Asian carrier to be certified by Boeing to put
the service on its planes.
Another Korean carrier, Asiana Airlines, is expected to fare
better in the loss of Connexion service -- as the Number 2 carrier
has, to date, only installed the wireless internet service in two
"We will begin removing
antennas for Connexion after the service [expires at the end of the
year], as they are no longer useful," said one Asiana Airlines
spokesman -- who then added insult to injury, by adding the
Connexion equipment added more weight than originally forecast.
Asiana Airlines also plans to join with its partners in Star
Alliance to ask Boeing for compensation, the spokesman said --
which likely means these two carriers won't be the last of the 11
airlines who signed on for the service -- which never posted a
profit for Boeing -- to approach the planemaker for