Kulula.com says no to in-flight Wi-Fi

Kulula.com, the low-cost carrier, says that it will not pursue an in-flight Wi-Fi offering for its flights due to the associated costs to deliver the service.

Rival operator, Mango, a South African Airways subsidiary, launched its in-flight Wi-Fi service in the first half of 2012, already.

However, Kulula, which describes itself as a no-frills airline, has no plans to follow suit.

Shaun Pozyn, marketing manager for Kulula.com and British Airways (operated by Comair), told BusinessTech: “We have investigated offering Wi-Fi on board but owing to the high costs related to purchasing and operating this type of solution, resulting from the constraints of the currently available technology offerings, we have decide not to pursue this for now.”

“Having said this, should the costs decrease we will most certainly look into it again,” he said.

Despite a rising demand for Wi-Fi services in South Africa, Kulula is not the only major transportation name to reject the technology.

Gautrain, the operator of the railway system which links Johannesburg, Pretoria, Ekhuruleni and OR Tambo International Airport, said in October last year that it would not offer Wi-Fi any time soon.

Offering W-Fi on public transport in SA has shown to be successful according to the African National Taxi Council (Santaco), who launched a Wi-Fi service for its taxis in June Last year.

Wi-Taxi, the technology partner for Santaco, told BusinessTech three months after launch, that each taxi was using an average of about 1GB of data per day, up from between 200MB – 400MB shortly after launch.

The service allocates 50MB of free data to each commuter per month.

Santaco said the installation of Wi-Fi in all 250,000 taxis and taxi ranks would be done within three years, in conjunction with Telkom.

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Kulula.com says no to in-flight Wi-Fi