Qatar Airways (QR) flew the first 787 with inflight connectivity on the delivery flight for their first 787.
The inflight connectivity is provided by OnAir, delivering both WiFi Internet and mobile phone access to passengers.
There were nearly 100 passengers on the 13 hour flight from Seattle to Doha. They sent text messages, emailed, tweeted, updated social media accounts and used the internet throughout the journey.
Some statistics from the flight:
- there were more than 50 internet sessions
- nearly 75 phones used the mobile phone network
- 340 text messages were sent
- nearly 50MB of mobile data was used
Comments from passengers were very positive and many of them enjoyed live tweeting throughout the flight, particularly sending pictures of the meals and the aurora borealis.
Qatar Airways is the first carrier in the Middle East, the seventh in the world, to introduce the 787. The airline has 60 787s on order, all of which will be equipped with OnAir connectivity.
In a fine week for the airline, Qatar Airways also announced that it will will appear as the main logo on FC Barcelona’s shirts from next year.
Using OnAir inflight connectivity
OnAir is a joint venture with SITA and Airbus. OnAir enables airline and cruise ship passengers to use their mobile phones and laptops for inflight connectivity, including calls, text messaging, emails and internet browsing.
Internet OnAir creates an onboard WiFi hotspot that can be accessed by any Wi-Fi-enabled device, including smartphones, tablets and laptops. As with any other hotspot, users pay by simply entering their credit card details when prompted.
Mobile OnAir delivers a GSM mobile network. It works in the same way as international roaming, with costs being included in passengers’ monthly bills.
Mobile OnAir has already been in operation on Qatar’s A320 fleet for three years, enabling passengers to use their mobile phones and smartphones on flights in Africa, Europe and the Middle East.
Read the press release from OnAir.