Doha, Qatar – Qatar Airways and OnAir today announced an agreement to install Mobile OnAir inflight passenger communications services on board the airline’s single-aisle fleet.
The agreement will see airline install the technology on all 22 single-aisle Airbus A319, A320 and A321 aircraft in the fleet as well as several new aircraft on order. The aircraft currently operate routes across the Middle East, India, Sri Lanka and across Europe.
Passengers will be able to stay connected inflight using their own mobile phones or BlackBerry-type devices to send and receive text messages and emails, and access the Internet. They will also be able to access the Internet using their own laptops fitted with GSM data cards.
Airlines equipped with OnAir services can choose to provide voice and data or data services only, depending on time of day and passenger preferences.
Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said that while the airline is stopping short of providing voice calls to passengers, it remains dedicated to providing passengers with the highest quality of service available in the air.
“Our commitment is to provide travellers with the very highest levels of comfort and service in the air. The latest technology provided by Mobile OnAir is absolutely in line with Qatar Airways’ 5-Star ranking for service and excellence,” he said.
“Qatar Airways is at the forefront of technology in aviation and this move reflects our desire to remain one of the industry’s most innovative airlines. In this fast-moving world, the travelling public are demanding to be connected wherever they are.
“Introducing internet, email and sms services to our single aisle fleet recognises this demand and is an additional service that I’m sure all airlines will adopt over time,” Al Baker added.
OnAir Chief Executive Officer Benoit Debains said the deal with Qatar Airways is a great achievement and proves the quality of its inflight products.
“OnAir is proud to have been selected after a thorough evaluation by one of the most demanding airlines in terms of passenger service and comfort. Mobile OnAir provides global coverage, a full range of service and the highest levels of performance.”
Mobile OnAir uses the industry’s most advanced and extensive infrastructure for mobile communications, along with Inmarsat SwiftBroadband, high capacity services from Inmarsat 4th generation satellites. This gives passengers and airlines the best reach and performance available today.
Passengers can use Mobile OnAir to stay in touch as they fly on over 6,000 flights each month, to over 160 cities in over 34 countries across Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.
Qatar Airways will install the technology on the following routes operated by its single aisle Airbus fleet:
Dar es Salaam
Doha-based Qatar Airways is one of only six airlines in the world with a Five Star ranking for service and excellence awarded by Skytrax, the independent aviation industry monitoring agency. Skytrax also named Qatar Airways’ cabin crew as Best in the Middle East for the sixth year running in 2008 and the airline was voted Best in the Middle East for the third year in a row following a survey of more than 15 million passengers worldwide. For more information, log onto www.qatarairways.com
Qatar Airways will operate a fleet of 110 aircraft by 2013 – almost double the existing size. Qatar Airways has ordered 80 Airbus A350s, 60 Boeing 787s and 32 Boeing 777s, with deliveries of the latter having started in November 2007. The airline is one of the customers of the twin-deck Airbus A380 ‘super jumbos’ with five on order and scheduled for delivery from 2012. Qatar Airways is due to move to the New Doha International Airport in 2012 when the first phase of the new facility is scheduled to open. For more information, visit www.ndiaproject.com
Qatar Airways Corporate Communications
Tel: +974 4496956, Fax: +974 4620132