In a ground-breaking technological advance, real-time live programming from BBC World will become available directly to passengers onboard selected flights from later this year.
It's the first time that the BBC's commercially funded news and information channel will be seen on aircraft in this way. It has been made possible through high-speed mobile Internet service offered to airlines by Connexion by Boeing, and means that viewers can stay in constant touch with the very latest news, business and sport stories while in the air.
BBC World will be accessible to passengers through their laptops, as it is transmitted, meaning that - just as when at they are at home or work - they can see comprehensive, award-winning hourly news bulletins, and a full range of current affairs, documentary and lifestyle series. These include HARDtalk, the hard-hitting daily interview programme; BBC News Extra, which offers greater analysis of the global news agenda; and FASTTRACK, BBC World's weekly travel news show.
The first carrier to offer BBC World as a live global channel will be Singapore Airlines, but it will be expanded later this year to include other companies that offer the Connexion by Boeing service. This delivers high-speed Internet, data and entertainment connectivity directly to travellers inflight through broadband connections to equipped aircrafts. It will also, in time, become available on seatback televisions. The Connexions deal with Singapore airlines for live TV is likely to launch end of June.
Zina Neophytou, travel distribution account director, BBC World, said, "BBC World is trusted and respected around the globe for Putting News First, and for offering coverage and analysis of stories of international significance. This agreement will enhance even further BBC World's substantial audience among opinion-formers and business decision-makers, keeping them fully informed while they're flying."
Currently, BBC World is available on around 26 airlines but not as live television. The list includes British Airways, KLM, China Airlines (in dual language -Engl/Japanese), Qatar Airlines, Kuwait Airways, Hellas Jet, Finnair, Kenya Airways, Turkish Airlines, Asiana, Air India, Air Sahara, United US Airways, Gulf Air, Malaysian Airlines, Etihad, Singapore Airlines, SAS, Saudi Arabian Airlines, South African Airways, Sri Lankan Airlines, Emirates, Thai Airways, Dragonair, Cathay.