Last year, Ryanair carried more than 130 million passengers across 37 countries, but despite more customers choosing Ryanair, the airline still does not offer in-flight WiFi. Low-cost competitor Norwegian offers WiFi on their airplanes, both in Europe and cross-Atlantic for free.
Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary told The Sunday Business Post that there currently are no plans to introduce WiFi on the airplanes. By offering WiFi, Ryanair would have to install the required satellites across the company’s more than 400 airplanes and it would create a 4% fuel drag, meaning higher costs for the airline.
“On average, flight distance is still only an hour and 15 minutes and the vast majority of people now are getting on board our aircraft, they have already downloaded Netflix and whatever else it is. They don’t need wifi and they’re unlikely to pay the cost of it,” O’Leary told The Sunday Business Post.
“If it isn’t revenue generating, frankly, we wouldn’t be introducing it.”
It has previously been rumored the airline would introduce free WiFi, but this has been denied several times by the company’s executives since then. At the moment, only 8 airlines offer free WiFi worldwide; Air China, Emirates, JetBlue, Norwegian, Philippine Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Hong Kong Airlines and Nok Air.
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Old ryanair frequent passanger
Low cost Vueling already has more than 70 aircraft with in-flight Internet and in around just 4 weeks is expected to have this service in the entire fleet of more than 110 aircraft. The equipment weights “only” 74kg, older equipment used to weight around 185kg. Vueling is charging passengers from 2 euro to 9 euro depending on the speed chose and the lenght of the flight. The network is EAN (it is partially funded by the EU and lead by Inmarsat) which offers Internet from 300 Deutche Telekom ground antennas all over Europe plus some Inmarsat satellite. If vueling sucessfully monetize the investment, ryanair should begin negotiating with inmarsat ASAP.