Posted on: 05 April 2011 by Ross McSweeny
Air New Zealand passengers will soon be able to keep in touch on more domestic flights with the expansion of its inflight connectivity service to an additional two aircraft by the end of 2011.
The OnAir inflight mobile phone services means passengers onboard the domestic A320 aircraft can use their mobile phones, for calls, text messaging, email and mobile data, with the service operated via satellite.
The first of Air New Zealand’s new domestic A320 fleet, which features an exclusive black “Crazy about Rugby” livery, was the first aircraft in the country to be equipped with OnAir services in February 2011.
Two aircraft are currently offering the service on selected domestic routes. The carrier claims to be the first Pacific airline to roll out the services on a permanent basis.
Air New Zealand’s General Manager Airline Operations Captain David Morgan stated this new technology underlines the airline’s commitment to provide its customers with innovative solutions to meet their needs.
“Feedback from our customers shows they value being able to stay in touch with work colleagues, friends and family while they are in the air,” explained Captain Morgan. “This new inflight technology, which uses an aircraft-based cell site and Inmarsat satellites, will mean our customers onboard our new domestic A320 aircraft will be able to safely use their mobile to stay in touch by text, phone call and email.”
“The decision of Air New Zealand to expand our services to two additional domestic aircraft is significant. It shows there is a demand from passengers to be able to make and receive calls, send SMS, and check emails in the plane,” commented Ian Dawkins, CEO of OnAir. “The agreement also sends another strong signal to the industry that inflight passenger communications has come of age – and is a must-have for airlines looking to remain competitive in the future.”