Live TV Will Be Available On Select Air France Flights

Air France will soon offer live TV on select flights in partnership with French news and current affairs television channel, France 24.

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Air France to partner with France 24. Photo: Air France

Passengers aboard all Air France medium-haul routes will soon notice that entertainment options will include the ability to live stream television programs.

This new service will be available on aircraft fitted out with Air France’s signature Air France CONNECT technology, a three-tier WiFi system that allows passengers to connect to the Internet through one free and two paid portals.

A press release from the European full-service carrier says:

“On medium-haul flights equipped with the Air France CONNECT connectivity service, the company’s customers have access to an entertainment programme portal, in addition to their Wi-Fi access. They can thus enjoy at no extra charge, a wide selection of films, series and documentaries on their personal smartphone, tablet or PC. This portal also gives them access to real-time news bulletins throughout their flight, thanks to France 24 channel’s live-streaming TV, in French and English.”

“On its long-haul flights, Air France also offers customers a selection of France 24 documentaries and programmes as part of its in-flight entertainment offer accessible from their individual screens. The France 24 channel is also broadcast live in most Air France-KLM airport lounges, in French, English and Arabic.”

All Air France planes will have WiFi in 2020

Air France says it is fully committed to having WiFi available on all of its medium and long-haul aircraft by the end of 2020 using connectivity kits supplied by Global Eagle.

Air France WIFI
All Air France planes to have WiFi in 2020.Photo: Air France

So far 50 of the French airline’s planes have been fitted out with the Air France CONNECT service. Of that number 15 of them are short and medium-haul aircraft, while the other 35 are long-haul twin-aisle aircraft. By the end of 2019, half of all long and medium-haul aircraft will be connected.

Who is Global Eagle?

Founded in 2004, Global Eagle is a Los Angeles based media company that provides satellite-based connectivity to the airline and maritime industries.

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Air France signs with Global Eagle and Orange Business. Photo: Air France

Air France signed a deal with Global Eagle and Orange business in October of last year to fit out its fleet with Ku-band satellite internet. When talking about the deal in a press conference covered by Get Connected, Global Eagle CEO Josh Marks said:

 “Air France sought industry-leading connectivity solutions with the highest reliability and quality to power superior customer service, innovation and digitization.

“Together with our partner Orange Business Services, we are proud to support Air France’s ambitions with high-speed gate-to-gate Internet, integrated with our powerful customer portal, for the Air France short and medium-haul fleet.”

The new Air France service will feature a Jupiter HT modem infrastructure capable of 500 Mbps and Global Eagle’s new three-axis Ku-band antenna.

Who is France 24?

Regarded as being the brainchild of former French president Jacques Chirac, France 24 is a government-owned television channel based in Paris that broadcasts news and current events.

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France 24 to be available live on Air France flights. Photo: Wikimedia

Aimed at a non-domestic audience, France 24 is a similar channel to the BBC World News and Russia Today. Broadcasting in French, English, Spanish and Arabic, France 24 looks at the world news from a French point of view.

France 24s long term goal is to compete with leading English language news channels like the BBC and CNN International. The way it intends to do this is by putting more of an emphasis on debate, dialogue and cultural differences.

Will you be taking advantage of the new streaming services on board Air France? Let us know in the comments.