Passengers on Etihad Airways daily flights between New York and Abu Dhabi can now text, browse and call onboard, thanks to inflight data services from in-flight mobile phone operator AeroMobile.
The national airline of the United Arab Emirates launched the WiFi and GSM-enabled Boeing 777-300ER aircraft on 1 June, increasing capacity on its New York route by +37%. The aircraft replaces the Airbus A340-500 and makes it possible for the airline to offer inflight connectivity on every flight to and from New York.
Etihad launched its inflight connectivity services with AeroMobile and Panasonic in November 2012, with a commitment to install the services across its entire fleet. To date, 13 Etihad aircraft have been equipped with inflight connectivity, and the airline has an aggressive rollout plan, which will see the whole fleet covered by mid-2014.
AeroMobile has agreements with over 220 mobile phone operators across 100 countries, including full coverage in the UAE with Etisalat and Du. It also recently confirmed AT&T as a roaming partner in the US and has an agreement with T-Mobile USA. UK-based roaming partners include O2, Three and Vodafone.
Passengers who use the service are billed by their mobile phone operator, and prices vary depending on individual contracts. Prices are typically similar to ‘rest of world’ rates, or in some cases, lower.
“We’re delighted to be working with Etihad Airways to roll out inflight mobile connectivity across their whole fleet,” said Kevin Rogers, CEO of AeroMobile. “AeroMobile equipped aircraft already fly to more than 330 destinations in 90 countries across the world, and we expect the number of aircraft offering our service to double over the next 12 months, as more and more airlines are seeing the benefit of offering inflight mobile connectivity to their passengers.”
FTE Global 2013’s Second Working Session will emphasise mobile innovation and the advanced personalisation efforts taking place across the industry. The session will be chaired by Jonathan Stephen, Head of Mobile at JetBlue, who will be joined by presenters from Heathrow Airport Limited, Los Angeles World Airport and Japan Airlines.