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Emirates Expanding Inflight Mobile Phone Service

Search ASIA Travel Tips .com Latest Travel News Send to Friend Tuesday, 24 March 2009

After one year of service, Emirates is continuing to add AeroMobile’s in-flight mobile service to its aircraft.

The first authorised call on an Emirates commercial flight took place on flight EK751, flying from Dubai to Casablanca on March 20th, 2008.

Since then, more than 160,000 passengers from over 130 countries have switched on their mobile phones on an Emirates flight to take advantage of the ability to make and receive calls and text messages – more than 50,000 in the last three months alone as the service becomes more widely available and increasingly popular.

The AeroMobile system, which allows passengers to safely make and receive calls during flights, has now been fitted on a total of 32 Emirates aircraft, making it available on one-in-four of Emirates’ services. Emirates Engineering are installing the AeroMobile system on the rest of the fleet, with one aircraft being equipped every ten days or so.

Patrick Brannelly, Emirates’ Vice President, Passenger Communications and Visual Services, said, “Typically about a third of our passengers are switching on their phones onboard AeroMobile-equipped aircraft, so it’s clearly a popular service. We do see many though, that switch on a phone but don’t necessarily use it, showing that they like the idea of being contactable. It’s clear that passengers prefer using their own phones which they are familiar with, rather than the seatback phone.

“We very rarely see multiple calls at the same time, and most calls are shorter than a couple of minutes. Texting using sms has been very popular. The feedback from our customers has been full of enthusiasm.”

The AeroMobile service is being rolled out across the Emirates ' fleet and is currently operating on five aircraft types, the Boeing 777-200s and 777-300s, plus the Airbus A340-300, A340-500 and A330-200. It is due to be installed on the Boeing 777-300ER from May. 

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