Business travelers will be able to surf the web securely on long-distance flights by combining services from Boeing and iPass, the companies plan to announce on Monday.

California company iPass, based in Redwood Shores, makes software that connects travelers to their offices from remote locations. It said corporate customers will be able to connect to the web on planes within six months using wireless links from Boeing.

The companies are betting that business travelers, who already connect their laptop computers wirelessly in hotels, cafes and airports around the world, want to stay connected on the plane.

The market for airborne internet has been slow to develop. Northern Sky Research predicts it could grow to between $200 million to $300 million by 2008 from roughly $5 million to $10 million this year.

So far Boeing only provides internet links on a few long-haul routes for German carrier Lufthansa but it said seven airlines have plans to outfit their planes. The aerospace company recently signed up Germany’s Siemens as its first large corporate client.

Boeing sets up so-called wireless hotspots in the sky by using satellites to deliver the internet to planes and extending these links to passengers’ laptops with Wi-Fi, or short-range wireless links that work on most laptops.

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