Emirates Launches Wi-Fi Hotspots at 40,000 feet

5th Jul 2004

Emirates’ passengers now can conveniently check and send emails from their personal laptops, even while flying at 40,000 feet, connecting to their corporate counterparts and keeping in touch with home from the luxury of the airline’s Airbus A340-500.
The new service, available since 1st July, enables passengers with Wi-Fi enabled laptops to access their regular email accounts via an onboard wireless hot spot throughout the duration of a flight. Emirates was the first airline to take delivery of an aircraft with Wi-Fi pre-installed, when the first A345 was introduced into its fleet last December.

Mike Simon, Emirates’ Senior Vice President Corporate Communications said: “The usage of our existing seatback email services onboard confirms that our passengers rely heavily on online communications to conduct their business and social interaction worldwide. Time, for many of our passengers, definitely is money.

“Understanding this need, Emirates has invested in the latest technology, making it possible for our customers to make the most of their time aloft by staying connected during the flight. Wi-Fi is fast catching on as the connection of choice on the ground and we felt that no effort or expense must be spared to provide our passengers with the latest technology to stay connected in the air as well.”

During the first three months of service, July-September, Emirates are offering the Wi-Fi email service at a 50 percent discount to encourage passengers to try the service.

Emirates’ A340-500 aircraft currently operate between Dubai and five other destinations - New York, Sydney, Melbourne, Auckland and Christchurch. The airline has five of these aircraft in its fleet and another five are expected over the coming months.


Emirates’ A340-500 was the first commercial aircraft to come off the Airbus production line with Wi-Fi fitted as standard. The airline has been testing the system since the first of those aircraft went into service last December. In the meantime many passengers have discovered inflight Wi-Fi and used it successfully.

The new service will be offered alongside the seatback e-mail and SMS already available on Emirates’ A340-500s which let passengers send out e-mails and SMSs during the flight, using an on-screen keyboard, and receive replies. The airline’s luxurious First and Business Class Lounges at the Dubai International Airport also are equipped with Wi-Fi technology.

Emirates sourced the software to power the service and networking connectivity from Tenzing Communications Inc. The back office customer support services will be provided by ARINC’s ISP, GLOBALinkmail.


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