Airfone Shutdown Imminent, No Extensions

 - September 4, 2013, 1:10 AM

Aircell, which currently owns and operates the Airfone air-to-ground telephone network, is on track to shut down the system at the end of this year. While some operators may hope that Aircell will keep Airfone running a bit longer so they can avoid having to replace their systems, Aircell has made it clear that Airfone is going away. According to John Wade, Aircell executive v-p and general manager, “The December 31, 2013, shutdown date is firm. There will be no extensions for service past that date. Since service shutdown is now less than five months away, we encourage operators to make plans now to ensure replacement solutions are installed and activated before December 31.” Aircell is offering discounts on Gogo Biz systems to current Airfone users, but time is running short. “We’re offering discounts as high as $20,000 on replacement systems, but they will expire when the Airfone service shuts down,” Wade said. “Avionics installation facilities are anticipating backlogged shop schedules as year-end approaches, given the sheer volume of aircraft seeking replacement solutions.”