Airline allows mobile phone calls

Mobile phones on planes

[21st March 2008]

The first authorised mobile phone call has been made on an Emirates airline flight between Dubai and Casblanca.

This is the first time that a commercial airline has allowed its passengers to make calls using mobile phones during a flight. Previously Air France ran trials of in flight mobiles but has not yet allowed mobiles to be used on its flights.

The mobile phone system on board Emirates Airbus A340 has been installed by AeroMobile after the European Aviation Safety Agency and the UAE based General Civil Aviation Authority granted permission.

Passengers on the Dubai to Casablanca flight were able to make and receive mobile calls and text messages. The mobile phone service can be used once the plane reaches cruising altitude.

“We are delighted to join Emirates in delivering a genuine world first for the airline industry. Emirates has set an industry-leading standard for passenger communications in launching AeroMobile services. We know that many airlines are interested in AeroMobile and will be keen to follow Emirates’ lead,” says AeroMobile chief executive, Bjorn-Taale Sandberg.

Emirates Airline chairman and chief executive Sheikh Saeed Al-Maktoum says: “As the world leader in innovation for our customers, we are delighted to offer them the choice of using their own mobile phones to contact friends, family or colleagues while flying with us”.

AeroMobile predicts that the use of mobile phones on planes will soon become commonplace for business and leisure travellers. A second Emirates plane, a Boeing 777-300, has already been equipped with the AeroMobile system and will be in operation shortly.

Emirates and AeroMobile are now working to add other features such as BlackBerry email and integration with Emirates’ ICE in-flight entertainment system.

Written by: Nick Purdom


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