Aircraft Interiors, Hamburg 8 April 2013 – Qatar Airways’ A350 and A380 fleets will be line-fitted with both Mobile OnAir and Internet OnAir. This comes after Qatar Airways has been operating OnAir’s GSM on its A320s for over three years. In total, over 150 Qatar Airways’ aircraft will have OnAir connectivity, including its Boeing 787s.
Qatar Airways’ passengers have the choice of using either the GSM network or Wi-Fi. They can use their mobile phones and tablets for calls, texting, emailing, updating social media and surfing the Internet. It is very simple to use, with billing working in exactly the same way as international roaming. They can also access the Internet using any Wi-Fi enabled device.
“We have been operating Mobile OnAir for more than three years on some of our aircraft and it's clear that our passengers want, and are coming to expect, inflight connectivity,” said Akbar Al Baker, Chief Executive Officer of Qatar Airways.
“We have seen high levels of usage of the OnAir services on flights to and from Europe, as well as on regional flights. The pattern emerging is that business travellers typically use mobile data, for example for email and reading the news. Leisure passengers are more likely to send text messages or update twitter and Facebook accounts.”
The award-winning airline currently has orders for 13 Airbus A380s, including options, with deliveries starting in 2014. The airline also has orders for 80 A350s.
“Qatar Airways’ extension of OnAir's services shows just how happy the airline and its passengers are with our connectivity products,” said Ian Dawkins, CEO of OnAir. “Qatar Airways is the first of four airlines to date to have selected OnAir for its A350 fleet, and our fifth A380 customer. Clearly, OnAir's products are perfect for every aircraft type, from the biggest long-haul aircraft to the much smaller single aisle planes operating on short routes.”
Qatar Airways can provide consistent connectivity on all its flights across the world because of OnAir’s unique coverage. It has regulatory approvals from over 90 countries, as well as roaming agreements with more than 350 mobile network operators. Also, OnAir uses Inmarsat’s SwiftBroadband network, the only one designed specifically to provide worldwide satellite coverage.
Regarding its proposal to lift the ban on cellphone usage in flight, the NPRM will allow 30 days for public comment, through February 14, 2014.
Saudia is expanding its inflight connectivity program on routes between the kingdom of Saudi Arabia and most of Saudia worldwide destinations.
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Passengers can now make and receive phone calls, and send and receive emails and text messages from 30,000 feet.