Qatar Airways and OnAir have announced an agreement to install Mobile OnAir inflight passenger communications services on the airline’s entire single-aisle Airbus fleet. They will operate in the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent and across Europe.
Passengers will be able to stay connected inflight using their own mobile phones or BlackBerry-type devices to send and receive text messages and emails, and access the internet. They will also be able to access the internet using their own laptops fitted with GSM data cards. Airlines equipped with OnAir services can choose to provide voice and data or data services only, depending on time of day and passenger preferences.
Akbar Al Baker, CEO at Qatar Airways, said: “Our commitment is to provide travellers with the very highest quality of service in the air and on the ground. The latest technology provided by Mobile OnAir is absolutely in line with Qatar Airways’ Five Star ranking for service and excellence.”
Benoit Debains, CEO at OnAir, added: “OnAir is proud to have been selected after a thorough evaluation by one of the most demanding airlines in terms of passenger service and comfort. Mobile OnAir provides global coverage, a full range of service and the highest levels of performance.”
Mobile OnAir uses the industry’s most advanced and extensive infrastructure for mobile communications, along with Inmarsat SwiftBroadband, high capacity services from Inmarsat fourth generation satellites. This gives passengers and airlines the best reach and performance available today.
Passenger can use Mobile OnAir to stay in touch as they fly on over 6,000 flights each month, to over 160 cities in over 30 countries across Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.
The Qatar Airways announcement, which is subject to signing a service agreement, comes amidst mounting demand for inflight passenger communications. A growing number of commercial airlines and private aviation companies either currently offer OnAir inflight communications services or will offer them in the near future. OnAir is negotiating agreements with a number of major airlines which will be announced during the course of 2009.
OnAir also serves private VIP and Governmental customers through partnerships with Airbus Corporate Jets, Aviation Centre Cologne and Jet Aviation.
According to a recent passenger survey, 80% of passengers who have used Mobile OnAir services on selected flights would like these services to be available on every flight.