Boeing will phase out its Connexion by Boeing service, leaving what it once considered a promising market for in-flight Internet access.
Connexion offers broadband Internet access via Wi-Fi, using a satellite connection to the Internet, that costs about US$10 to $30 per flight on commercial airlines. It also offers high-speed Internet access on executive jets and ships.
Connexion is offered on some commercial flights in Europe and Asia but was never adopted by a major U.S. carrier. First conceived in 2000, the service was approved by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration in May 2002 as the nation’s airlines were reeling from a travel slump that followed the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
“Regrettably, the market for this service has not materialized as had been expected,” Boeing said Thursday in a written statement attributed to Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Jim McNerney. The company will work with customers on an orderly phase-out of Connexion, Boeing said.
The aerospace giant’s foray into broadband has been expensive. In its financial results for this year’s second quarter, Boeing said it expects to take a pre-tax charge of $320 million, or $0.26 per share, spread over the remainder of 2006.