Norwegian reveal Europe’s sky-high surfing habits as it marks five years of inflight Wi-Fi

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The FINANCIAL — Norwegian, Europe’s third largest low cost carrier, is today celebrating five years since it became the first airline to offer free Wi-Fi on European routes – by revealing the world’s first study into sky-high surfing habits.

Norwegian remains the only carrier on the continent to offer free Wi-Fi on all routes and since pioneering the service in February 2011 over 19 million passengers have logged in at 35,000ft.

To celebrate the landmark the airline polled a representative selection of 1,000 passengers across Europe about their inflight surfing habits and combined it with data usage from over 550,000 flights to reveal what people are browsing, sharing and tagging over Europe’s skies, according to Norwegian.

Over 18,000 passengers access Norwegian’s free Wi-Fi every day, with the biggest demand on routes to and from Spain. Since introducing the free service over 500 terabytes of data have been consumed on board flights – the equivalent of streaming 1.2 million songs, receiving 170 million emails or watching 25,000 hours of Netflix.

Sky high surfing habits revealed:

Facebook FOMO (fear of missing out): A third of passengers (28%) log onto a social media channel within just five minutes of the flight. One in five passengers say they would be annoyed if they could not access social media during a flight – with 3% going as far as to say it would ruin their flight

#Holiday: American and British passengers are most likely to show off about their holiday, with 40% of Americans posting a picture or status about their trip during the flight. This is followed by 20% of Brits

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Race to get online: German passengers are the keenest to get online, followed by Swedish and Danish. The availability of free Wi-Fi still comes as a surprise to British, Spanish and American travellers who take the longest to connect 

Mile high movers: The most popular websites visited at 35,000ft by Brits are news sites including BBC, Guardian and Daily Mail, followed by Right Move and Amazon

Digital detox: Just one in ten people said they like to take a break from social media during a flight

Let me take a selfie: Inflight Wi-Fi has contributed to new social media trends with half of 18 to 25 year olds logging into Instagram to take a selfie or post a wing shot. To date #flyNorwegian has been tagged over 12,900 times on Instagram

Checking in: Spanish are the most addicted to social media– with 62% accessing networking sites during their flight. This is followed by Norwegian (56%) and Danish (55%) passengers

Thomas Ramdahl, Chief Commercial Officer at Norwegian, said: “Five years ago Norwegian became the first airline to introduce free Wi-Fi on European routes, and five years later we are still the only carrier to offer the service.

“To celebrate five years of free Wi-Fi, Norwegian’s new study reveals some fascinating insights into the world’s sky-high surfing habits. The results show how integral being connected is to people’s travel plans – with 18,000 passengers per day accessing Wi-Fi to chat with friends, read news and continue working whilst travelling across Europe.”

Norwegian’s Wi-Fi works via an antenna fitted to each aircraft which communicates with a satellite mounted on the fuselage. Inside the aircraft, there are two separate networks, one that is open for passengers and one for pilots and cabin crew that will make their work in the air easier and more efficient.

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After successfully introducing free Wi-Fi Norwegian continued its technological firsts by becoming the only airline to offer a ‘bring your own device’ inflight entertainment system across Europe, and becoming the first European carrier to introduce live television in November 2015.


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