Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) has launched high-speed Wi-Fi on its short- and medium-haul routes between Scandinavia and Europe, allowing passengers to stream and browse the internet after the aircraft is airborne.

SAS said Wi-Fi has already been installed in 28 aircraft, making it the first Nordic airline to offer the high-speed Wi-Fi service. By September, around 40 aircraft will be equipped, with the vast majority of its fleet set to be Wi-Fi-enabled by the first quarter of 2020, the airline added.

“Fast and stable Wi-Fi connection is a service passengers ask for today,” SAS president and CEO Rickard Gustafson said. “Regardless [of whether] you want to watch a movie, stay connected with friends and family or work onboard, you require a reliable high-speed connection.”

SAS’s Wi-Fi is based on a satellite communication system supplied by Viasat Inc. through its Ka-Sat satellite. “Viasat’s satellite-based inflight internet service taps the power of the world’s most powerful satellites. This enables the service to be 10 times faster than traditional inflight Wi-Fi services,” Viasat GM & VP-commercial aviation Don Buchman said.

Travelers in SAS Plus, EuroBonus Diamond and Gold members have access to free Wi-Fi while passengers in Go pay €4.90 ($5.80) or the equivalent in other currencies. Silver members are being offered free Wi-Fi for the launch period through Aug. 19.

Helen Massy-Beresford, helen.massy-beresford@aviationweek.co.uk