, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 10 – Emirates has offered the world’s first in-flight mobile phone service onboard the A380 aircraft.
In partnership with Emirates connectivity partner, OnAir, passengers aboard Emirates’ A380 aircraft will now be able to stay in touch via phone calls or through the mobile data link on their personal devices while in-flight.
The service is in addition to the OnAir Wi-Fi service already available on Emirates A380 aircraft.
The OnAir system allows passengers to use their own mobile phones to make and receive phone calls and text messages from Emirates A380 aircraft in-flight, just as they would on the ground, using EDGE/GPRS connections through their mobile service provider.
Emirates first A380 equipped with the full suite of OnAir connectivity departed from Dubai international Airport to Munich International Airport on October 2 and the first recorded A380 in-flight call was placed to China while the aircraft cruised at 11,500 metres flying across the Gulf.
“Our goal on every flight is to exceed our passengers’ expectations. We believe that exceeding expectations should not only apply to our Cabin Crew’s award-winning in-flight service and our Skytrax ‘World’s Best Airline In-flight Entertainment’ ice system, but also to our passenger’s desire to stay in touch while travelling,” said Khalid Bel Jaflah, Emirates Vice President for East Africa region.
The airline has long set the industry standard for the latest in-flight innovations and connectivity.
In 1993 Emirates became the first airline to equip an entire Airbus fleet with in-flight phones.
It was also the first airline to equip an entire Airbus fleet with in-flight fax machines in 1994; the first airline to offer live BBC text news headlines on its aircraft in 2003, and the first airline to offer onboard mobile telephone services in 2008.
Emirates also installed personal in-seat email and SMS throughout the fleet and in all classes in 2006 and launched Wi-Fi Internet access on A380 in conjunction with OnAir in 2011.