Posted on: 03 October 2014 by Mark Howells
Etihad Airways’ (Etihad) entire fleet of Boeing 777 aircraft are now equipped with in-flight mobile and internet connectivity solutions.
The in-flight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) services on-board combine Etihad’s ‘Wi-Fly’ platform, which is powered by Panasonic Avionics’ Global Communication Suite, with OnAir’s in-flight connectivity offering. The B777s use LiveTV’s seat-back systems and IFE content, allowing passengers to watch live news and sporting events across channels including BBC World News, CNBC and Sport24.
“We believe that on-board connectivity is an important competitive differentiator for our guests and are continuously introducing new communications technology to enhance their travel experience,” commented Paul Baumgartner, CCO of Etihad. “The roll out of our state-of-the-art connectivity solution will give our modern connected guests a seamless, robust experience at 35,000 feet, similar to what they expect at home or work.”
Internet access is available to Etihad passengers starting from $5, whilst the mobile charges will be paid to a passenger’s individual mobile service provider. Etihad’s mobile connectivity on its B777s will enable phone calls as well as texts and emails, through the use of mobile data.
The airline’s crew are also making use of the connectivity services, using Wi-Fi to communicate with the ground team in Abu Dhabi during medical emergencies, for example. Etihad hope to expand the crew’s use of in-flight connectivity to include real-time credit card transactions.
Within the next few months Etihad also hope to have the airline’s entire fleet connected. This will see the same solutions on the B777 long-haul aircraft installed on a further 28 Airbus A320s, 26 A330s and 11 A340s.