TAM starts inflight mobile calls

TAM Airlines and OnAir has unveiled a new inflight mobile phone communications service that will start next year. The OnAir service will enable TAM passengers to use their mobile phones and BlackBerry-type devices in exactly the same way as they do on the ground.TAM will offer Mobile OnAir, the leading inflight passenger communications solution, on Airbus A320 aircraft. Mobile OnAir uses the leading Inmarsat’s SwiftBroadband service, which enables full BlackBerry usage in addition to voice and SMS.

TAM has selected OnAir after a thorough evaluation and analysis of different connectivity solutions that lasted two years and will start offering Mobile OnAir in 2009 and the service will be available to passengers flying on routes in South America.

Benoit Debains, CEO of OnAir, said, “We are very pleased that TAM, one of the leaders in passenger services innovation and the biggest airline in South America, has chose Mobile OnAir as its inflight passenger services solution. We now have customers on four continents, clearly showing that OnAir is the leading supplier in the sector.”

“By offering this advanced technology to our clients, we confirm our leadership in the commercial aviation market in Brazil and our permanent focus on Excelence in Services”, says TAM’s CEO, Captain David Barioni Neto. “Our passengers, especially those on business trips, will have permanent connection to their offices and clients, gaining efficiency and productivity.”

The service launch is subject to all approvals being secured from national authorities in Brazil.