British Airways and OnAir will tomorrow launch inflight connectivity services aboard the airline’s premier business-class only service linking London with New York. British Airways’ passengers will travel between the two major business hubs and stay connected inflight to their business, family and friends using their own mobile phones or smartphones (such as a BlackBerry® device) for text messages, emails and Internet access.
The service, London City airport’s first ever long-haul route, has the airline’s most prestigious flight number, BA001, previously used by Concorde and is supported by specially configured Airbus A318s, the largest aircraft that can be flown from the airport.
Willie Walsh, British Airways’ chief executive said: “Every aspect of this service has been designed to maximise convenience for customers to fly between the world’s two biggest business centres – Wall Street and London’s extended financial district in the City and Docklands. The UK’s first mobile phone access on transatlantic flights means that customers can work and keep in touch with the office between London and New York via email and texts.”
“OnAir is particularly proud to be working with British Airways in launching the service on this historic route,” said Benoit Debains, CEO of OnAir. “The launch marks a further and very significant milestone in airline take-up of inflight connectivity. Mobile OnAir will support British Airways in providing their passengers with the very highest service levels on this long-haul route. It is the most technologically advanced of all inflight connectivity systems, and represents the best way forward to take advantage of developing technology.”
Mobile OnAir uses the industry’s most advanced and extensive infrastructure for mobile communications, along with Inmarsat SwiftBroadband, high capacity services from Inmarsat 4th generation satellites. This gives British Airways’ passengers the best reach and performance available today.
Air passengers today can use Mobile OnAir to stay in touch as they fly on over 10,000 flights each month, to over 280 cities in over 70 countries across Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. OnAir has operated more than 65,000 fully connected SwiftBroadband flights to date.
The British Airways announcement is further evidence of mounting demand for inflight passenger communications. A growing number of commercial airlines and private aviation companies either currently offer OnAir inflight communications services or will be offering them in the near future.
OnAir also serves private VIP and Governmental customers.
According to a recent survey, 93% of passengers who have used Mobile OnAir services on selected flights would like these services to be available on every flight.