By Andy Sambidge
First recorded inflight call placed to China while aircraft cruised at 11,500m over Gulf
Emirates Airline has announced that it has become the first airline to offer inflight mobile phone services on an A380 aircraft.
In partnership with 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, the airline said in a statement.
The service is in addition to the OnAir WiFi service already available on Emirates A380 aircraft, it added.
The OnAir system allows passengers to use their own mobile phones to make and receive phone calls and text messages from A380 aircraft inflight, just as they would on the ground.
Emirates' first A380 equipped with the full suite of OnAir connectivity departed from Dubai international Airport to Munich International Airport this week and the first recorded A380 inflight call was placed to China while the aircraft cruised at 11,500 metres flying across the Gulf.
The carrier said the OnAir mobile system will be available on all future A380 deliveries and will be retro-fit to Emirates current fleet of 25 A380 aircraft.
Patrick Brannelly, Emirates vice president Corporate Communications Product, Publishing, Digital and Events, said: “Beginning in 1993 with first passenger satellite phone service to last year with our A380 Wi-Fi system, Emirates has always taken the approach that providing the latest in inflight service and connectivity is a key part of our passengers’ journey.
"Emirates continues to invest in the most innovative technology possible and promises to keep pushing the boundaries of the inflight innovation for the benefit of our passengers.”
Emirates is the largest A380 operator in the world and has now carried more than 10 million passengers flying more than 150 million kilometres since the double decker was introduced to its fleet in August 2008.
Earlier this week, Emirates took delivery of its 24th and 25th Airbus A380 superjumbos.
The new aircraft will immediately be deployed into service across Emirates’ network of 126 destinations in 74 countries.For all the latest tech news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
I hate the thought of listening to someone babble on the phone for hours. One thing I like about flying is being able to turn phones off for the duration. Do we really need in flight cell service?
let the airlines charge rates in such a manner that people use it for
important business calls only. let us say about usd 3/- per minute and after the first 10 minutes it should be usd 5/- per minute.
this way no body would talk more than is really required. thnks
any comments from the airlines people.