Royal Jordanian inks OnAir deal

Royal Jordanian will be the first airline in the Middle East to provide its passengers with OnAir’s inflight Internet and mobile phone services, including email, SMS and voice calls.The OnAir service will enable Royal Jordanian’s passengers to use their mobile phones and BlackBerry-type devices to send and receive text messages, emails, and to make and receive mobile phone calls inflight, as well as to use their laptops to access the Internet. The airline’s single-aisle A320 Family will be installed with a standalone GSM/GPRS system in 2008 and the twin-aisle A340 Family will be installed with the GSM/GPRS/Internet service in 2009. The service will be available on routes in the Middle East and Europe.

Mobile phone penetration in the Middle East reached 50% in 2007 and is expected to grow by 25% a year, according to Wireless Intelligence analysts.

Samer Majali, President and CEO, Royal Jordanian, said, “Royal Jordanian is at the forefront of e-travel. This includes providing passengers with the ability to plan trips, book online, issue e-tickets, make online seat reservations and use self check-in kiosks at the airport. And we are now pleased to offer the latest technology: on board communications services. These include voice communications, Internet and mobile services, enabling our passengers to carry on with their travel planning, as well as to communicate with their colleagues, friends and families, in exactly the same way they can on the ground.”

Majali added, “Being the first airline in the Middle East to provide OnAir’s services underlines the fact that we are always seeking to offer the best customer service to our passengers. 2007 has been a very good year for Royal Jordanian: we became the first Arab carrier to join oneworld, one of the world’s major airline alliances, we won several awards including the Airline Strategy Award in the technology category, and now we are announcing the introduction of this pioneering new service.”

Mobile OnAir will allow unlimited text messages and emails to be sent, and will allow up to 11 simultaneous voice calls. A central feature of the service is the crew’s ability to turn it off at any time, or switch it to ‘silent’ - text and email only - mode, enabling the airline to customize the services to its passengers’ preferences. For example, airlines could turn off the voice element, or even the whole service, during quiet times.

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p>Benoit Debains, CEO of OnAir, said, “We are very pleased that Royal Jordanian has selected us. It will be the first airline in the Middle East to introduce OnAir’s leading passenger communications service and will enable the airline to further enhance its passenger service level in a highly demanding market. It confirms OnAir’s role as the leading supplier of passenger communications with customers in Europe, Asia Pacific, China and now the Middle East.” 
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