Wings Magazine

Emirates offers first mobile service onboard A380

Oct. 9, 2012, Toronto - Emirates offers the world’s first inflight mobile phone service onboard an A380 aircraft; setting yet another record for inflight communications. In partnership with Emirates connectivity partner, 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 with their family, friends and colleagues while inflight.

October 9, 2012  By Carey Fredericks

The service is in addition to the OnAir Wi-Fi service already available on Emirates A380 aircraft.
Emirates has long set the industry standard for the latest inflight innovations and connectivity; including:
1993: First airline to equip entire Airbus fleet with in-flight phones
1994: First airline to equip entire Airbus fleet with in-flight fax machines
2003: First airline to offer live BBC text news headlines on its aircraft
2006: Personal in-seat email and SMS installed throughout the fleet, in all classes
2008: First airline to offer onboard mobile telephone services in collaboration
2011: Emirates launches Wi-Fi internet access on A380 in conjunction with OnAir
The OnAir system allows passengers to use their own mobile phones to make and receive phone calls and text messages from Emirates A380 aircraft inflight, just as they would on the ground, using EDGE/GPRS connections through their mobile service provider. Emirates first A380 equipped with the full suite of OnAir connectivity departed from Dubai international Airport to Munich International Airport on October 2 and the first recorded A380 inflight call was placed to China while the aircraft cruised at 11,500 meters flying across the Gulf.
“Our goal on every flight is to exceed our passenger’s’ expectations. We believe that exceeding expectations should not only apply to our Cabin Crew’s award-winning inflight service and our SKYTRAX ‘World's Best Airline Inflight Entertainment’ ice system, but also to our passenger’s desire to stay in touch while traveling,” said Patrick Brannelly, Emirates Vice President Corporate Communications Product, Publishing, Digital and Events. “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 kilometers  since the double decker was introduced to its fleet in August 2008. The airline’s A380 operations is supported by more than 3,000 dedicated cabin crew, and Emirates’ state-of-the-art facilities at Dubai International Airport will soon be augmented by the opening of the world’s first dedicated A380 terminal early next year. 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.


Stories continue below