Germany's Lufthansa has said it will become the first airline to offer high-speed Internet access on flights to and from Israel.
Lufthansa said on Tuesday that its FlyNet Internet service will become available on its Tel Aviv route beginning on Monday.
The service -- starting at $10 -- will initially be offered on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays, days which Lufthansa uses 221-seat Airbus 330-300 aircraft on the route.
The other days, the carrier uses leased Airbus 330-200 aircraft, which will not be upgraded for the Boeing Connexion high-speed Internet service.
Lufthansa has said it will outfit all 78 of its long-haul Airbus 330 and 340 planes with the service, which allows passengers to send and read email, chat and shop from 35,000 feet in the air using their own laptop computer with a Wi-Fi card installed.
The airline a year ago was the first to offer high-speed Internet. It now offers the service on 15 routes from Frankfurt and Munich and plans to add another 17 in 2005.
Last month, national carrier El Al Israel Airlines said it would start offering high-speed Internet on its long haul flights using Boeing 747-400 and 777 aircraft beginning in June.
A month ago, a British Airways senior official said that while the carrier was upgrading its planes on the Israel route, it opted not to offer Internet, saying it wasn't cost effective at this time.
Scandinavia's SAS, Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways also offer the Connexion service, which requires airlines to install satellite antennas on top of airplanes.
Singapore Airlines, China Airlines, Korean Air and Asiana have also announced their intent to install Connexion on their long-haul routes.
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