Passengers on a growing number of Emirates Airbus A380 aircraft can now surf, share, email, or tweet their way across the Emirates network as the airline launches Wi-Fi internet connectivity with leading industry service provider, OnAir.
Customers can access the service of the Wi-Fi in the sky onboard their flight using their Wi Fi enabled devices including smartphones, tablets and laptops. All customers have to do is open up their device’s wireless connections, log on to the OnAir network and follow the simple steps to access the internet. As part of a proving phase, customers onboard many A380 flights have been using the service for many months already as the system was installed and activated on the first few A380 aircraft last year.
“Emirates recognises that being connected inflight is increasingly important especially on our longer flights. Adding internet access is going to be a vital and ubiquitous part of any inflight experience, just as it is in everyday life on the ground,” said Patrick Brannelly, Vice President Corporate Communications Product, Publishing, Digital and Events.
“As a result of our testing, we were able to learn a lot about what people like to do with the internet inflight and are pleased to be able to launch with very affordable pricing options.”
“Emirates has led the way in mobile phone use onboard with 91 aircraft currently allowing the service,” he added.
“We are obviously delighted to launch OnAir Wi-Fi on our A380 Aircraft and we will continue to invest in additional communications products across our entire fleet.”
Wi-Fi services will initially launch on 11 of 19 Emirates A380 jets currently in-service, with the system due to be installed both now and in the future across the entire fleet of 71 Emirates A380 aircraft on order. In addition to Wi-Fi, from mid-2012 all new Emirates A380 airliners will be delivered with a full range of Wi-Fi, mobile phone and mobile data services.
“Emirates is continuously introducing the latest advanced technology to its customers for use on board out fleet. Making inflight connectivity available is a value added service that Emirates customers will highly enjoy; this is particularly true of our A380 fleet, since the aircraft is the epitome of modern airline technology,” added Adel Al Redha, Emirates Executive Vice President, Engineering and Operations.
“With the OnAir product onboard, Emirates ensures our passengers will enjoy being connected in the sky on our most advanced aircraft.”
Price plans start at just US $7.50 for mobile devices and US $15 on laptops for generous data packages that allow plenty of internet at an accessible price. The US $7.50 package should be sufficient for the average Blackberry user to stay connected all the way from Dubai to Paris – a flight of over six and one half hours.
“The fact that Emirates has chosen OnAir connectivity services for its A380 fleet validates our strategy of developing a Swift Broadband-based consistent global service. With the significant expansion of the Emirates A380 aircraft and global route network, it is important for passengers to access connectivity services anytime and anywhere,” said Ian Dawkins, CEO of OnAir.
Recently the quality of customer service on board the Emirates A380 flights has been lacking, as some of our team experienced first hand. Lets hope that as the airline improves its hard wired services that is also remembers how to communicate with passengers correctly.