Oman Air to pioneer in-flight connectivity

Oman Air has is to start offering full mobile phone and wi-fi connectivity on its commercial widebody aircraft, claiming a world first.

The services, Mobile OnAir and Internet OnAir, will start to be rolled out on the carrier’s new Airbus A330 fleet from the middle of February through to mid-summer.

Passengers in First, Business and Economy classes will be able to make and receive mobile phone calls and send SMS messages.

They will also be able to use email and the internet and keep up to date with social networking media networks such as Facebook and Twitter.

Peter Hill, Oman Air chief executive said: “We are delighted to be leading the field by bringing the digital age to in-flight passenger communications.

“This great new service will enrich the passenger experience and complement the stunning new interiors we are offering in all three classes of travel.

“For many travellers, the ability to communicate via phone, SMS, email or internet is a vital part of everyday life and staying in contact with friends, family or colleagues will constitute huge benefits for Oman Air’s customers.”

Passengers’ access to the new services will be controlled by air crew to minimise disruption to fellow passengers, particularly during quiet periods on overnight flights.

Oman Air’s A330 fleet has been fitted with the Airbus ALNA V2 system, using Honeywell’s SwiftBroadband (SBB) solution compatible with most devices.

The move follows the introduction to Oman’s A330 fleet of new in-flight entertainment (IFE) systems which offer four channels of live TV, as well as audio video on demand, iPod connection and USB ports.

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