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Inflight mobile phone service added

Emirates Airline first to offer mobile calls on Boeing plane

[August 4th 2008]

Inflight mobile phone calls

Emirates has become the first airline to introduce inflight mobile phone services on a Boeing aircraft.

The Dubai based airline has installed the system from inflight mobile phone technology developer AeroMobile on Boeing 777-300 planes operating on several routes, including services to Europe and Australia.

Passengers are now able to make calls and send SMS text messages during flights. “Travellers booked on the Boeing 777, which carries the inflight mobile phone services, will now be able to continue communicating with family, friends or business associates on the ground while travelling in the skies," says Emirates vice president, passenger communications & visual services, Patrick Brannelly.

In March Emirates introduced the first authorised mobile phone calls on a commercial flight when it installed an AeroMobile system on an Airbus A340-300. Since then the airline has installed the technology on another 10 planes, including an Airbus A340-500 and A330-200.

Now the AeroMobile system has been proved on a Boeing plane it opens up a wider market for inflight mobile calls. "The number of Boeing 777s operated by Emirates and other AeroMobile customers means that this introduction is a key step in allowing passengers to keep in touch when they fly,” comments AeroMobile chief executive, Bjorn-Taale Sandberg.

Statistics collected by Emirates show that most inflight mobile calls are made on daytime flights, with minimal use on night flights. Average length of calls is about 2.5 minutes. Text messaging is also said to be very popular.

“There has been overwhelmingly positive feedback since the service launched in March, with between 40 to 60 per cent of passengers switching on their phones on flights where the service is available,” reports Sandberg.

Written by: Nick Purdom


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