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New commercial chief for OnAir

30th September 2008 - 00:00 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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GENEVA-based connectivity provider OnAir has appointed airline veteran Stephan Egli as its new chief commercial officer. He is responsible for marketing and sales, business development, and product and account management.

Egli succeeds Graham Lake, who joined OnAir from rival AeroMobile in March last year and has since departed to set up his own company.

A Swiss national, Egli has more than 15 years of senior management experience in the air transport industry. Past appointments include VP network management at Swissair, VP for Europe, the Middle East and Africa with Delta Airlines and, most recently, senior VP for global marketing with Lufthansa catering subsidiary LSG Holding.

Egli is likely soon to find himself trying to cater for the whims of Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary, who is expecting big revenue-generating things from his long-awaited trial of OnAir’s onboard cellphone service. The trial was due to launch earlier this year but has been delayed by the regulatory nitpicking that has also dogged AeroMobile. Now industry rumours suggest that Ryanair passengers on at least ten aircraft will be able to use their phones for voice calls and text messaging from the middle of next month.   

Reports suggest that the service will be available at first only to subscribers to mobile operators O2 and 3. Another limitation, to six simultaneous voice calls, means that Ryanair’s famously noisy cabins – “If you want a quiet flight, use another airline,” says O’Leary – are unlikely to get even more boisterous any time soon.

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