Published on Thursday, February 19, 2009

In-flight mobile calls take off with Ryanair

An in-flight mobile phone service has become available on board 20 Ryanair aircraft.

The move is the first step in fitting the budget carrier’s fleet of more than 170 aircraft over the next 18 months to allow passengers to make and receive mobile calls and texts on all flights.

Passengers on Ryanair’s 20 OnAir enabled aircraft, mainly operatng from Dublin, can now make and receive voice calls at (non–EU) international roaming rates (£1.50-£3 per minute) text messages (40p+) and email (£1-£2) using mobile phones, BlackBerrys and other smartphones.

The service is only available to O2 customers and to users of more than 50 other mobile phone operators across Europe.

Provider OnAir is working with other UK mobile operators Vodafone, Orange and 3 to have those networks connected.

The price tariffs are set by each mobile service provider and are subject to each customer’s individual price plan, according to the airline

Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary said: “Today’s launch by Ryanair and OnAir is the first step to offering in-flight mobile phone services onboard our entire fleet of over 170 aircraft over the next 18 months.

“This service will allow passengers to keep in touch with the office, family or friends.

“We expect customer demand for this service to grow rapidly and hope that customers of all UK mobile operators will soon be able to call or text home from 30,000 feet.”

OnAir CEO Benoit Debains described the arrangement as “a real milestone in aviation”.

He said: “We are proud to work with Ryanair, the world’s largest international scheduled airline, and to provide their 67 million passengers with access to this new technology which will enable them to send and receive emails, text messages, download attachments and make and receive calls just as they would on the ground.”

*See linked Ryanair Liverpool story. 

by Phil Davies

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    Yes! As Keith Standen says, they may yet be charging to use the loos. Someting I previously joked about. Ten pence to get in and perhaps a pound to get out. Nothing would surprise me. A few years ago with any imagination some of the things that have become reality would never have been beleived and laughed at.

    By douglas hodgins, Monday, February 23, 2009

  • Do we need to phone on short haul?

    I'm amazed that anyone really needs to make a call on such short flights. Give yourself a break and switch it off!

    By Chris Lewis, Friday, February 20, 2009

  • Text only

    Why not allow texting only, which would not upset others. I agree with comments above that passengers seated nearby talking on their mobile phones would be a definite disadvantage to travel with RyanAir.

    By Sylvia Cook, Friday, February 20, 2009

  • Ryanair Continues To Grow

    A comment made earlier in the week from Ryanair said they continue to grow, but why today have they announced to pull routes from Liverpool with the loss of jobs? What would happen if they did this with passengers booked to join a cruise (1) Passengers have no flight, (2) Would have to rebook (Would Ryanair reroute and get them there) (3) There is no bonding for the passengers for cases like this....

    By Richard Tobias OBE, Thursday, February 19, 2009

  • Time Keeping?

    I flew back from Grenoble to Stansted with Ryanair a year or so ago. As we were landing, they trumpeted (literally) the fact that we were landing 15 minutes or so early. At first I thought that that was impressive - until I checked more closely and saw that they (Ryanair? GNB/STN?, the CAA?) had allocated 2 hours for the flight. I've made that flight numerous times with numerous operators and never taken more than 1 hour 45 minutes. If you allocate 2 hours, you'll (nearly) always be early. I may be being cynical, but is this part of the reason why 88% of Ryanair flights are on time?

    By douglas hodgins, Thursday, February 19, 2009

  • Quiet Zone

    Presumably the next step is for Ryanair to introduce charges to passengers who would prefer to travel in peace and quiet.

    By chris aitchison, Thursday, February 19, 2009

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