Etihad Airways, which will next month become one
of the few airlines in the world to offer fleet-wide inflight
connectivity services, witnessed a dramatic surge in internet and
mobile phone usage in 2014.
Reflecting the broader trend for
people to use their personal devices for work and entertainment
when travelling, the growth was driven largely by people logging
onto Etihad Airways’ Wi-Fi network, with usage rising by 80% last
Increased demand for onboard mobile services
also contributed to the surge in usage, with 2.6 million devices
connecting to the airline’s onboard mobile network in 2014.
Inflight texts and mobile phone calls increased by 62% and
61% respectively, compared to the same period in 2013.
iOS was the most popular operating system onboard,
with 55% of the airline’s guests connecting to the
internet with their iPads and iPhones, while 30% used
devices running on Android’s operating system.
Etihad Airways’ Live TV service is
also attracting strong interest and
receiving positive feedback from travellers, with an average of
50,000 hours of live news and major sporting events being viewed each month.
Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways’
Chief Commercial Officer, said, “We continue to redefine our
guests’ air travel experience with innovative products and
services, the latest communication technology and entertainment
systems that best fit their needs. When people
travel, they want to stay connected with their work, their friends
and their family. They also want to be kept up-to-date with 24
hour world news services. This is now possible for the entire
journey on an Etihad Airways flight.”
comprising Wi-Fi, mobile connectivity and live television, combine
the “Etihad Wi-Fly” solution, powered by the Panasonic Avionics
Global Communications Suite, and OnAir’s inflight connectivity
The high-speed broadband services enable
passengers to access the internet from laptops, tablets and
smartphones over Wi-Fi, allowing them to send emails, log onto
their favourite social media sites, upgrade seats, change travel
plans and much more, all from the comfort of their seats at 35,000
The mobile connectivity service allows
passengers to use their mobile phones and smartphones to make and
receive phone calls, send and read SMS text messages or email, use
mobile data services to browse the web, and much more.
Now available on 43 wide-body aircraft, the Live TV
service brings quality content from seven television channels
including BBC World News, Sport 24 and CNN, the top three most
viewed channels, and CNBC, euronews, Japan’s NHK World Premium,
and Sky News Arabia.
The airline’s connected fleet
comprises 92 passenger aircraft including 29 Airbus A319/320/321s,
26 A330s, 11 A340s, one A380, 24 Boeing 777 family aircraft and
the first B787 Dreamliner, which serve routes across six
continents. All future aircraft scheduled for delivery through
2015 will also be equipped with inflight connectivity.
Packages to access the internet start at US$5 and can be
purchased using credit cards, PayPal and a range of other
convenient payment methods. Mobile telephone usage will be billed
by the passenger’s mobile service providers based on the international
roaming rates levied by the service providers.
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