British Airways to launch on-board web access

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British Airways to launch on-board web access

British Airways will launch later this year an on-board internet service for business class passengers travelling from London to New York.

Customers will be able to send texts, emails and access the internet in-flight.

BA claimed this is the first time such technology will be offered on transatlantic flights.

The service will launch alongside the carrier’s first longhaul flights from London City airport this autumn.

The airline said voice calls may be allowed in the future, subject to customer demand and feedback.

Last month, British Airways announced a sale in its business class fares, with up to 40 per cent off the price of some routes in an attempt to weather the "harshest trading environment" in its history.

Another unprecedented event for BA was a record loss, reported in its financial results today. The airline announced operating losses of £220 million (A$448 million), compared to a record profit of £875 million in 2007/08.

BA also cancelled its dividend and saw its debt load almost double.

"The prolonged nature of the global downturn makes this the harshest trading environment we have ever faced and, with no immediate improvement visible, market conditions remain challenging,” said BA chief executive Willie Walsh.

"It is vital, therefore, that we remain absolutely committed to our plans to establish British Airways as a high-performing, market-focused, global premium airline."

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