Ryanair launches in-flight mobile phone calls

Passengers on
selected Ryanair flights can now make phone calls and send texts or emails from
mobile phones and PDAs.

The low-cost
carrier has fitted the facility (provided by in-flight communications provider
OnAir) to 20 of its aircraft, mainly based at Dublin. The airline says this is the
first step in an 18-month programme to fit the technology to the carrier’s
entire fleet of 170 planes.

Passengers can
now make and receive calls at a non-EU international roaming rates, and send
and receive text messages and emails using mobiles, Blackberrys and other smartphones.
OnAir says the price tariffs are set by individual mobile service providers, but
suggests a charge of between £1.50 and £3 per minute for making phone calls – receiving
text messages will be free of charge.

Initially only O2
customers in the UK will be able to use the service (as well as over 50 mobile
operators across Europe), but OnAir says it is working with other operators
including Vodafone, Orange and 3 to expand the service.

Ryanair joins the
list of carriers launching in-flight mobile phone facilities. Emirates launched
its service in March last year (see online news March 20, 2008), and BA
recently announced that it will offer mobile data services on its forthcoming
all-business class flights from London City to New York (see online news January
23
).

For more
information visit ryanair.co.uk.

Report by Mark
Caswell


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