Emirates has installed technology on one of its Boeing 777-300s that will allow passengers to make mobile phone calls and send SMS messages during flights.Patrick Brannelly, Vice President, Passenger Communications & Visual Services, said: “Travellers booked on the Boeing 777, which carries the inflight mobile phone services, will now be able to continue communicating with family, friends or business associates on the ground while travelling in the skies.”
The Boeing 777-300 carrying the new system is operating on several Emirates routes, including services to Europe and Australia.
Emirates first installed the technology, which was created by inflight mobile phone technology developer AeroMobile, on one of its Airbus A340-300 aircraft in March - enabling the world’s first authorised phone calls on a commercial flight.
Since then, the airline has installed the technology on 10 aircraft, including A340-300, A340-500, A330-200 and Boeing 777 planes. Emirates plans to introduce the inflight mobile phone systems to other aircraft, with the airline’s maintenance division taking less than two days to complete the work.
Most inflight calls made by Emirates’ passengers usually occur during daytime flights, with minimal usage on night services. The average length of calls is around 2.5 minutes, while the text messaging capability is also proving very popular among passengers.
AeroMobile Chief Executive Bjorn-Taale Sandberg said: “There has been overwhelmingly positive feedback since the service launched in March, with between 40 to 60 per cent of passengers switching on their phones on flights where the service is available”.