Etihad Airways the Abu-Dhabi carrier officially launched its first aircraft equipped with in-flight connectivity this week, allowing passengers to receive calls and message on their mobiles.
Hooked up to the carrier’s three Airbus A330-300 and one A320 and expected to be available on their second A320 from March this year, the carrier said the system will give passengers full mobile connectivity.
On top of the international roaming rates of the traveller's mobile network provides, the carrier will also charge US$10 for inflight mobile and tablet connection as well as US$20 for laptop Wi-Fi internet.
Etihad Airways chief commercial officer Peter Baumgartner said in an online statement that the launch of in-flight connectivity was the carrier’s first step in a long-term strategy of in-flight connection solutions.
“The modern traveller is increasingly reliant on mobile devices and the internet, not only to plan travel, but also to stay in touch throughout their journey,” he said.
The carrier’s A320 is often used to service short-haul service across the Middle East while the A330-300 is used for longer flights to London, Frankfurt, Paris, Geneva, Casablanca and Seoul.