ITASCA, Ill., April 1, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- (NASDAQ: GOGO) "Prepare for takeoff' is taking on a whole new meaning at Gogo. The world's leading provider of in-flight communications services has announced plans for a crew of jetpack operators, or "Jetpackonauts" as the company has dubbed them, to handle the work of installing connectivity and entertainment systems while aircraft are at cruising altitude.
"We understand that our airline partners can't afford to take aircraft out of revenue-generating service for any period of time," said Ash ElDifrawi, Gogo's chief commercial officer. "So we're making house calls."
The program is set for a soft launch this week at an undisclosed location in flyover country. "Yes, that means Nebraska," volunteered ElDifrawi when not-at-all-pressed for details.
"We operate the world's most sophisticated communications network in the sky," said ElDifrawi. "Why not emulate what the network giants on the ground do so well? Minus the vans."
Among job requirements such as "extreme tolerance to cold," Gogo's Jetpackonaut job description specifies that applicants must supply their own jetpacks during the program's beta stage.
"I'm just glad I found the old J-PEX 4000," said Trav Lehrman, one of the first members of Gogo's Jetpackonaut crew. "I was sure my wife tossed it during our last move. Turns out it was in the shed under a pile of kayaks and the kids' rollerblades. Fired up on the first pull. All this time I could've been cleaning my gutters the way science intended."
If this "pilot" crew proves successful, Gogo plans to expand quickly, dispatching Jetpackonauts to handle installs anytime, anywhere.
"I told everyone I wouldn't say this, but screw it. It's jetpacktacular," said ElDifrawi. "Or maybe it's jetpacktastic. I'm having trouble deciding."
When asked about any OSHA standards that might apply to the position, or whether this might be work better undertaken by drones, ElDifrawi waved his hand dismissively.
"We're simpatico with OSHA. As for drones, we want to keep our relationships with partners and customers personal. We're a global communications network in the sky, for crying out loud. Turning our work over to the robots would basically make us SkyNet. And we all saw those John Connor movies. Wait, the robots save us in the last one, right? Doesn't matter. The future is confusing."
Gogo is the global leader of in-flight connectivity and wireless in-flight digital entertainment solutions. Using Gogo's exclusive products and services, passengers with Wi-Fi enabled devices can get online on more than 2,000 Gogo equipped commercial aircraft. In-flight connectivity partners include Aeromexico, American Airlines, Air Canada, AirTran Airways, Alaska Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Japan Airlines, United Airlines, US Airways and Virgin America. In-flight entertainment partners include Aeromexico, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Japan Airlines, Scoot and US Airways. In addition to its commercial airline business, Gogo has more than 6,500 business aircraft outfitted with its communications services.
Back on the ground, Gogo's 700+ employees in Itasca, IL, Broomfield, CO and various locations overseas are working to continually redefine flying as a productive, socially connected, and all-around more satisfying experience. Connect with Gogo at www.gogoair.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/gogo and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/gogo.
This is an April Fools' release and should be taken as such by readers and the media.