APEX 2013: Etihad launches first full OnAir connectivity on A320s

Etihad has become the first airline to offer both inflight Wi-Fi and GSM on its Airbus A320s.

The first aircraft, equipped with the combined Mobile OnAir and Internet OnAir services, was delivered to the airline last month, OnAir announced at the APEX Expo in Anaheim.

OnAir’s combined Wi-Fi and GSM connectivity service has operated on Etihad Airways’ A330-300 aircraft for nearly two years. GSM has proved the more popular of the two options, with passengers using it for a range of activities: 76% use it for mobile data, typically email, while 33% send text messages and 21% make and receive calls.

Wi-Fi is particularly important on flights over four hours on which passengers spend more time surfing the Internet.

Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways’ Chief Commercial Officer, said: “We aim to offer our guests consistently excellent service in the air and on the ground. This applies equally to the inflight connectivity options available on our fleet.

“People want the choice of how they use their phones, tablets and laptops when they are flying as much as when they are on the ground. Our view is there is no reason why it should be any different just because you are on a different aircraft type.”

On the Etihad Airways A320s, the OnAir services operate over the Airbus ALNA v2 platform. Internet OnAir and Mobile OnAir will be installed on all of the airline’s new A320s.

“Passengers want the same ability to connect onboard as they have on the ground. OnAir’s connectivity replicates the everyday terrestrial experience as closely as possible on any flight, anywhere in the world,” said Ian Dawkins, CEO of OnAir.

Steve Nichols, Inflight / Inflight-Online.com
Anaheim, CA, USA

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