Etihad Airways, the national carrier of the United Arab Emirates, will provide onboard wireless internet on selected routes to Europe before the end of the year.

Etihad CEO James Hogan said: “I can tell you that Etihad will have two aircraft with operational onboard internet by December this year, and five aircraft by March, 2012.

“Three of those five aircraft will be Airbus A330-300s, which will operate between Abu Dhabi and cities like Frankfurt, Geneva, London , Munich and Paris . And we are right at the point now of settling on a fleet-wide connectivity solution for the years to come.”

He added airlines around the world now faced pressure from customers to make broadband internet access standard on all flights, but cautioned the industry to invest wisely in wireless innovation.