Delta Set to Launch In-Flight Internet

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Earlier this year, Delta Airlines made the news as the first major U.S. air carrier to announce plans for fleet-wide in-flight Internet service. And Delta seems to be making good on that promise, with in-flight Internet set to launch as soon as tomorrow. But while the company had promised to roll out the service to its entire 300+ domestic fleet by mid-2009, things may get scaled back: Delta will be launching the service on just six planes, and expects to only have ten up and running by the end of 2008. Initially, Delta had hoped to have 75 planes equipped by the end of 2008.

The service, based on the Aircell GoGo service, will be priced at $9.95 for flights less than three hours long, and $12.95 for flights over three hours. However, the initial flights will reportedly offer the in-flight Internet service for free.

Delta recently completed a merger with Northwest Airlines, which adds about 275 more planes to its fleet.

The Aircell GoGo service operates using Wi-Fi within the body of the aircraft, and connecting to ground-based cellular systems while in-flight. As a result, the service only operates while in range of U.S. cell phone networks; Delta is not currently planning to introduce in-flight Internet on international flights.