By Andy Sambidge
Airline CEO says full connectivity for passengers on A330 fleet by the summer.
Oman Air will become the first airline in the world to offer full connectivity mobile phone and wi-fi internet services on its planes next month.
The carrier is to introduce mobile phone and wi-fi connectivity across its new Airbus A330 fleet by the middle of February.
The move will give passengers in First, Business and Economy classes the opportunity to make and receive mobile phone calls, SMS, use email and the internet and keep up to date with social networking media, such as Facebook and Twitter, the airline said in a statement.
Peter Hill, Oman Air's CEO, said: "We are delighted to be leading the field by bringing the digital age to in-flight passenger communications. From mid-February we will be unrolling full connectivity across our Airbus A330 fleet, completing the task in the summer."
He added: "People are increasingly expecting internet and mobile connectivity 'anywhere, anytime' and what better place is there than on an Oman Air A330, when you have a few quiet hours to catch up on your email, browse the internet or return that quick phone call."
Availability will be controlled by the crew to ensure a minimum of disturbance to passengers during overnight flights, he said.
Oman Air's A330 fleet has been fitted with the Airbus ALNA V2 system, using Honeywell's SwiftBroadband (SBB) solution.
Oman Air's SBB connectivity follows the introduction to its A330 fleet of new in-flight entertainment systems which offer four channels of live TV, as well as audio video on demand, iPod connection and USB ports for different usage.