Published on Monday, January 26, 2009

BA to pilot in-flight text/internet access

British Airways aims to provide in-flight text and internet access on new transatlantic flights.

But the airline has stopped short of offering mobile phone calls on the business class flights to be launched between London City Airport and New York in the autumn.

BA, which claims to be the first UK airline to announce the introduction of a live communications service on transatlantic flights, will enable passengers to stay in touch via their own mobile phones or PDAs.
They will also be able to access the internet and send emails from laptops fitted with GSM data cards.
Voice calls may be allowed in the future subject to customer demand and feedback, BA said.

The service will be provided by Mobile OnAir using the GSM/GPRS network.

Chief executive Willie Walsh said: “This is a great service for our customers whom we know want to do business in the air or simply stay in touch via email or text.

“It’s a perfect fit for our new business class only services from London City airport to JFK which we will launch later this year.”

The twice daily service will operate Sunday to Friday

Passengers can clear US customs and immigration at Shannon Airport in Ireland, where the aircraft will refuel on the westbound flight before arriving in the US. Eastbound flights will be non-stop.
by Phil Davies

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