Iberia is to provide OnAir email and web chat services to business class passengers on long-haul routes from mid-June as part of a major fleet upgrade.
The introduction of OnAir personal communications services will provide business class passengers in Iberia’s new upgraded “Iberia Business Plus” cabin with free preview of email inboxes, access to personal email accounts from their own laptops and live web chat. OnAir, the joint venture between Airbus and SITA INC, provides voice and data communications for short and long-haul flights on Airbus and Boeing aircraft.
Mr. Felix Garcia Viejobueno, Iberia Senior Vice President for Customer Relationships, said, “Our in-flight tests have been very successful. Commercial operation of the service will begin mid-June on A340-600 aircraft and will roll out to the whole A340 fleet. We know from our customer research that our business passengers are very keen to have the option of using their flight time more productively.”
The CEO of OnAir, George Cooper, said, “OnAir is working closely with Iberia to provide a solution that meets current and future passengers’ communications needs. OnAir’s research has shown that data solutions are in demand on long-haul flights particularly in business class where 70% of travellers carry a laptop.”
The OnAir email and web services will be based on Swift64 satellite communications and will have the potential to migrate to Inmarsat’s SwiftBroadband when it becomes fully operational in 2007.
Lars Ringertz of Inmarsat said, “Iberia is making best use of Swift64 and has a clear and cost-effective upgrade path to take full advantage of the increased bandwidth that SwiftBroadband will provide once the service is available.”