Kingfisher Air rolls out web services

Kingfisher Airlines is planning to offer its passengers a full range of passenger communication services.
Starting in 2008, Kingfisher Airlines’ long-haul passengers will be able to use Webmail OnAir and Webchat OnAir, followed in 2009 by Internet and Mobile OnAir to access the Internet during flights, as well as send and receive emails and make and receive phone calls.
OnAir’s services will initially be installed on five new Airbus A330s and five new Airbus A340s with plans in place to install the system across its entire longrange fleet.  Kingfisher Airlines will use its A330s on routes to Europe and Asia, while the A340s will service longer nonstop flights, such as to the USA.
Hitesh Patel, Executive Vice President, Kingfisher Airlines, said, “We pride ourselves on our high levels of service, including state-of-the-art inflight entertainment and Live TV at every seat. Being the first, not just in India but also in the world, to offer our guests all of OnAir’s communications services, is truly a great opportunity.”
Benoit Debains, CEO of OnAir, said, “We are pleased to be selected by Kingfisher airlines, a leading airline in passenger service and comfort. This decision is setting a new standard for air travel in one of the most dynamic regions for air travel and telecommunications.”
The OnAir Internet services enable airlines to increase the value of the experience they offer to passengers. Business travellers can take advantage of flight time to stay in touch with their office, to catch up with email and to work using their corporate network. Leisure travellers also have the option of staying in touch by phone, and of checking personal email and “chatting” with friends and family through the IFE system.
The service is based on an onboard server, and is connected to the ground infrastructure through SwiftBroadband, Inmarsat’s broadband satellite infrastructure.
Fees will be based on data download for Internet usage, and per flight for webmail and instant messaging, and for Mobile OnAir the cost will be similar to international roaming rates, with passengers being billed by their operator in their regular bill.