Mon, Jun 26, 2006
Inflight Internet Venture In Trouble
Citing lack of demand
by US airlines for inflight wireless internet access, Boeing is
considering selling or closing down its six-year-old Connexion by
Boeing internet venture.
In a company release issued Tuesday, Boeing representatives said
the company would be "taking a series of near-term actions" as the
company reviews its options for the future of the high-speed
broadband communications business.
Despite the company's fevered promotion of the system, Boeing
says "the market for the service has not developed satisfactorily"
-- and it is now working with its existing customer base to
determine its next steps.
Though in use by several carriers overseas -- including
Germany's Lufthansa, El Al of Israel and Japan's All Nippon Airways
-- Connexion hasn't taken off in the US. Initially supported by the
likes of United, American and Delta in the program's early
development stages, Connexion suffered as all three airlines pulled
their support of the program in the financial wake of 9/11.
"We're evaluating the long-term business model for Connexion to
assess what's best for both the business and our customers,"
spokesman John Dern told the Associated Press. "The system's
performing well, we know we have a useful product, but we're trying
to determine how good a business we have."
Boeing isn't commenting yet on the possibility it might
disconnect Connexion for good.
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