OnAir has reached an agreement with Shenzhen Airlines to provide its passengers with inflight communications services, including email, SMS and voice calls.
The OnAir service will be installed across Shenzhen Airlines’ full fleet of Boeing 737 and Airbus A320-family aircraft by mid 2009, with the introduction of three demonstrator aircraft being targeted for the Beijing Olympic Games in August 2008.
Li Kun, President, Shenzhen Airlines said, “Our goal is to build a world class airline and we will achieve it through the provision of innovative services such as Mobile OnAir. We are very proud to be the first airline in China to provide passengers with the ability to communicate during flights.”
Following agreements made with major airlines in Europe and Asia, OnAir is now addressing the largest mobile market in the world, China, where the number of mobile phone users is expected to reach 415 million in 2007. The OnAir service will enable passengers to use their BlackBerry-type devices and mobile phones to send and receive text messages, emails, and to make and receive mobile phone calls inflight. The equipment will be both retrofitted on the airline’s existing aircraft and line-fitted on new aircraft.
Shenzhen is already one of the most competitive and successful airlines in China and operates over 130 routes within China and to Korea, Malaysia, Japan and Vietnam. The company carried over seven million passengers in 2006, employs over 7,000 people and is headquartered in Shenzhen, in southern China’s Guangdong Province. The airline has been flying for 14 years, and has been profitable throughout its history. Shenzhen Airlines’ current total assets are worth 15 billion RMB (US$2bn).
Benoit Debains, CEO of OnAir, said, “China is a significant and fast growing aviation market and we are proud to be able to deliver our innovative services that will provide increased levels of passenger services and additional revenues. We are grateful to Shenzhen airlines for their trust and we are looking forward to see the services in operation onboard both their Airbus and Boeing aircraft.”