Guests of Etihad Airways, the UAE national carrier, are now better connected than ever before.
The airline’s first aircraft with in-flight connectivity for passengers have officially taken to the skies.
According to a press release, the aircraft – three Airbus A330-300 and one Airbus A320 aircraft – are equipped with inflight passenger connectivity services. Another connectivity-enabled Airbus A320 will be delivered in March 2012.
On the A320, guests of the airline will have full mobile connectivity, enabling them to use their own mobile phones and Smartphones to make and receive phone-calls, send and receive text messages and emails, and access mobile data services. The A320 is used primarily for short-haul routes throughout the Middle East, and some mid-length routes such as Istanbul, Athens, Minsk, Cochin, Bangalore and Mahé in the Seychelles.
Onboard Etihad Airways’ A330-300 aircraft, guests will have the same mobile connectivity in addition to Wi-Fi internet capability for personal laptop and tablet use. The A330-300 is used for long-haul destinations across the network, such as London, Frankfurt, Paris, Geneva, Casablanca and Seoul.
Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways Chief Commercial Officer, said: “The modern traveller is increasingly reliant on mobile devices and the internet, not only to plan travel, but also to stay in touch throughout their journey. The introduction of these connectivity-enabled aircraft is an exciting first step in Etihad Airways’ long-term strategy to offer inflight connectivity solutions across our entire fleet of passenger aircraft.”
During the launch phase, Etihad Airways will offer inflight mobile and tablet connectivity from USD 10 and laptop Wi-Fi internet connectivity from USD 20. Mobile telephone calls will be charged according to the international roaming rates of guests’ mobile network provider.