August 2, 2008

Emirates Installs Inflight Mobile Phone Services on Boeing 777-300

Emirates has again proved itself an aviation industry pioneer after becoming the first airline to introduce inflight mobile phone services on a Boeing aircraft.

Dubai's award-winning airline recently installed the technology, which allows passengers to make calls and send SMS text messages via their mobile phones during flights, on a Boeing 777-300. Patrick Brannelly, Vice President, Passenger Communications & Visual Services, said the inflight mobile phone technology will offer greater services and additional communications channels to Emirates' passengers. Mr Brannelly added: "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 technology is another example of our dedication to always being the first airline to offer passengers groundbreaking technology and services. 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.

Emirates has guidelines for the appropriate use of phones on board, including requesting passengers to have their phones switched to "silent" mode during flights. The airline's award-winning cabin crew are also able to control and monitor use of the system, and will be in full control of it throughout flights. AeroMobile Chief Executive Bjorn-Taale Sandberg said: "The installation of our system on board Emirates' Boeing 777 aircraft is another first for AeroMobile, and clearly demonstrates our ability to offer our technology to airlines using either Boeing or Airbus aircraft. The number of Boeing 777s operated by Emirates and other AeroMobile customers means that this introduction is a key step in allowing passengers to keep in touch when they fly."

"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," he added. 2008 Mena Report (

Originally published by By Al-Bawaba Reporters.

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