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Boeing takes the office into the air

By Graeme Kennedy

Friday 12th May 2000

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Business class will take on a whole new meaning when Boeing brings two-way email, internet and intranet access and even video conferencing right to the aircraft seat.

Travellers with laptops will be able to check real-time financial news and share prices or catch up on live CNN news or a football game.

Boeing said it planned to launch a mobile broadband service late next year to develop a global satellite-based network to provide air travellers with a package of high-speed data communications.

Company chairman and chief executive Phil Condit said travellers had several choices, such as reading, watching a movie or playing video games, to pass the time during long flights.

"But soon, when you can watch a live soccer game, email your family, shop online or keep an eye on your stocks, the aircraft will begin to look like your home or office and the experience of travel will change," he said.

The system, called Connexion by Boeing, will be first introduced on US domestic flights, followed by Europe in 2002, transatlantic the following year and to Asia in late 2004.

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