Qatar Airways opts for OnAir
Qatar Airways is the latest carrier to announce that it will offer the OnAir inflight mobile phone service to its passengers.
The Middle East airline today announced that it would install Mobile OnAir capability across its entire single-aisle Airbus fleet, which currently numbers 22 aircraft with a further eight on order. They serve routes in the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent and across Europe.
The service will allow passengers to use mobile phones and Blackberry-type devices to send and receive texts and emails and access the Internet. It will also support Internet access from laptops with GSM cards. At this point no mention has been made of activating the system’s voice capability.
“Our commitment is to provide travellers with the very highest quality of service in the air and on the ground,” comments Qatar chief executive Akbar Al Baker. “Mobile OnAir is absolutely in line with our five-star ranking for service and excellence.”
OnAir says it is negotiating agreements with a number of other airlines and expects to name them during the course of the year. Full commercial service is currently offered by Wataniya Airways of Kuwait and Royal Jordanian, with Airblue of Pakistan, Malaysia’s AirAsia, the new British Airways transatlantic premium-only operation and Oman Air expected to follow this year.
OnAir is also being trialled by bmi of the UK, Ryanair and TAP Portugal, while AirAsia X, Jazeera, Kingfisher, Shenzhen Airlines and TAM of Brazil have said that they will introduce it.