American Airlines and Virgin America both have announced testing of Aircellís Wi-Fi service on a limited number of flights, but Delta is making a big splash with an ambitious rollout to all its domestic fleet. Other carriers are watching the move closely and will likely follow suit. After all, Aircellís system is extremely light and relatively cheap to implement Ė thus has the potential to be a real profit center. Delta said it will roll out the Internet access beginning in the fall and complete the installation by the summer of 2009.
JetBlue Airways has also embarked on plans to roll out onboard connectivity but its system enables e-mail and text messaging only. Meanwhile, Southwest Airlines and Alaska Airlines are expected to test a satellite-based system by a company called Row 44 this summer.