Let’s see some quick math. 60 planes by the end of the year and they have 13 done so far so that means 47 more plans in about 16 weeks or about 3 per week. As of 5/23/10 there were 541 planes in service so (541 - 13) / 3 = 176 weeks = 3 years 20 weeks = May 2013 for a completion date. By then the competition (Aircell) will have completed a rollout to the next generation of wireless (4G) and will provide greater bandwidth at a significantly lower price. Wireless technology evolves nearly as fast as computer technology. What is cutting edge today will be outdated and need to be replaced about 3 to 4 years from now.
Don't get me wrong I really want to have wifi service and when I was a flight once with the service it was great. They just picked the wrong company and the wrong technology. It will work great on overseas flights but I don't think they will be flying overseas anytime soon. I also really question the viability of Row 44 since they lost Alaska Airlines. SW is essentially underwriting the entire company at this point.
BTW, did anyone consider the additional fuel costs related to the drag from the fuselage bulge? I'm sure it's only in the several percent range but every little bit counts. Also there must be some affect on rudder control albeit slight.
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