OnAir has announced a contract with new Kuwait-based, full-service luxury airline Wataniya Airways. OnAir’s Mobile OnAir solution will be linefitted on Wataniya Airway’s fleet of new Airbus A320 aircraft, providing full inflight connectivity services.
From January 2009, when the airline begins operations, passengers will be able to stay connected inflight using their own mobile phones or BlackBerry-type devices to send and receive text messages and emails. The option to make and receive voice calls will not, initially, be activated by the airline. Passengers will also be able to access the Internet from their laptops fitted with GSM data cards.
Charges, set by mobile phone operators, will automatically appear on passengers’ mobile phone bills at rates similar to overseas roaming charges. There are no additional charges.
“Passengers travelling with Wataniya Airways expect to be able to stay in touch as they fly both for business and personal reasons, and OnAir’s solution helps us meet this expectation. Being the first airline in the Middle East to introduce SwiftBroadband across our fleet helps ensure we maintain the very highest levels of service to our demanding clients,” said George Cooper CEO of Wataniya Airways.
Wataniya Airways will benefit from global coverage and high-speed connectivity delivered through OnAir’s advanced mobile communications technology. Mobile OnAir uses the most robust and extensive infrastructure for mobile communications, along with Inmarsat SwiftBroadband, high capacity services from Inmarsat 4th generation satellites.
“Wataniya Airways has made the excellence of its passenger service a very high priority. We are pleased then that in selecting the OnAir solution, Wataniya Airways has recognised our SwiftBroadband capability as providing the highest available standard of passenger connectivity,” said Benoit Debains, CEO of OnAir.
A growing number of commercial airlines either currently offer OnAir inflight communications services or plan to offer them in the near future. This includes Ryanair, Air Asia, bmi, Jazeera Airways, Shenzhen, TAP, Kingfisher, Oman Air, Royal Jordanian and TAM. OnAir also serves private VIP and Governmental customers through partnerships with Jet Aviation, Airbus Corporate Jets and Aviation Centre Cologne.
Since December 2007, Mobile OnAir services have been used on flights to more than 46 cities in 24 countries in Europe and North Africa.