LOS ANGELES, Oct. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Customers traveling on Singapore Airlines will soon have the option of staying connected at all times, even at 35,000 feet.
Under a multi-million-dollar collaboration with in-flight connectivity provider OnAir, the carrier will debut a range of onboard communication offerings, providing passengers with access to Wi-Fi Internet and mobile services. The mobile services will enable customers to make and receive voice calls, send text messages with their GSM-compatible mobile phones and send and receive email messages easily on Smartphone and BlackBerry devices.
With plans to roll out the services starting as early as the first half of 2011, Singapore Airlines will be the first major airline in Asia to launch a full suite of in-flight connectivity services. These will be introduced progressively on flights operated by the Airline's A380, A340-500 and Boeing 777-300ER aircraft.
"Singapore Airlines was in fact one of the pioneers to introduce Internet connectivity on board its Boeing 747-400 aircraft in 2005. Today, with the increasing importance of remaining connected, and the more affordable charges made possible by the higher usage and more advanced technology, we are now fitting all our long-range aircraft with the full suite of telephony and Internet features so that our customers can stay connected. Unlike the earlier trial introduction of an Internet service, this suite of features is for full implementation and we are pleased to offer this as an added choice to our in-flight program," said Singapore Airlines' Senior Vice President Product & Services, Mr. Yap Kim Wah.
"The environment that our customers have gotten used to on the ground can soon be replicated in the air, when they fly with Singapore Airlines on aircraft fitted with this new connectivity platform. Traveling for business or pleasure, they are just a click or a text message away, with access to live information, social networking and news updates, as well as in-flight shopping."
Singapore Airlines' connectivity partner OnAir is jointly owned by Airbus and SITA, the world's leading provider of global IT and telecommunication solutions for the air transport industry, offering global satellite coverage including for the Asian region. One of the most established companies in the field of onboard connectivity, OnAir has roaming agreements with about 200 telecommunications companies globally.
"We are absolutely delighted to have come to an agreement today with an airline of the stature and reputation of Singapore Airlines. The agreement is extremely significant. It sends a strong signal to the industry that in-flight passenger communications has come of age – and is a must-have for airlines looking to remain competitive in the future," said Ian Dawkins, CEO of OnAir.
Customers who use the mobile services will see their usage reflected in the monthly bills from their telecommunications provider where international GSM roaming rates apply. For Internet access, customers can sign up for an access package upon logging in to the system. Details of the charges will be announced closer to the launch.
About Singapore Airlines
When Singapore Airlines was formed in 1972, it operated a modest fleet of ten aircraft to just 22 cities in 18 countries. With a commitment to fleet modernization, product and service innovation and market leadership, the Airline quickly distinguished itself as a world-class carrier. Today, Singapore Airlines operates a modern passenger fleet of more than 100 aircraft and its network, including Singapore Airlines Cargo and SilkAir destinations, currently covers a total of 98 destinations in 39 countries. In October 2007, Singapore Airlines, a member of the Star Alliance, made aviation history again as the first to fly the world's largest passenger aircraft, the Airbus A380.
OnAir provides industry-leading, on-board connectivity solutions that enable passengers to stay connected while they travel, and airlines and shipping lines to differentiate themselves through offering distinct services to customers. Present aboard airlines on four of five continents, OnAir provides the only air-travel industry sponsored solution for commercial airlines, private and corporate jets, Airbus and Boeing aircraft, and for long and short-haul flights. OnAir is the first provider of services based on SwiftBroadband, the latest high-bandwidth satellite technology from Inmarsat, which offers GSM and GPRS for voice, data and Internet. More information about OnAir is available at www.onair.aero.
SOURCE Singapore Airlines