Etihad launches 'Wi-Fly' inflight mobile service
Abu Dhabi, December 3, 2012
UAE's national carrier Etihad Airways has launched the new “Etihad Wi-Fly” inflight Internet and mobile connectivity service being powered by the Panasonic Avionics global communications suite.
The airline’s first aircraft equipped with Panasonic’s communications technology, an Airbus A330-200, took flight today for Brussels, offering high-speed broadband Internet connectivity as well as data and mobile phone services, said a statement from the Abu Dhabi airline.
The A330-200 will be used for long-haul destinations across Etihad Airways’ network, such as Brussels, Dublin, Manchester, Munich, Frankfurt and Milan, it added.
The new “Wi-Fly” connectivity solution will be available for guests at a cost of $13.95 per hour or $24.95 for 24 hours. Mobile telephone usage will be charged based on the international roaming rates of guests’ mobile network providers, said the airline.
The service, however, will be complimentary for Etihad Airways’ Diamond First Class guests, it added.
Etihad Airways president and CEO James Hogan said the 'Etihad Wi-Fly' is a result of the 10-year, $1 billion agreement the airline signed with Panasonic Avionics in November last year.
"We continue to invest in our product and consider ways to offer our guests the most engaging and dynamic inflight entertainment options. The broadband Internet is high-speed, in line with what our guests would experience at home or at work, so we believe this will be hugely popular," he remarked.
“By the end of Q1 2013, we will have 10 ‘Etihad Wi-Fly’-equipped aircraft, and I am pleased to announce that by the end of 2014, every single Etihad Airways aircraft will be equipped for inflight connectivity,” he added.
All Etihad Airways narrow-body aircraft will be outfitted with data and mobile phone connectivity, while wide-body aircraft will be additionally equipped for broadband Internet services.
Etihad Airways also currently operates six connectivity-enabled aircraft under an agreement with OnAir: three Airbus A320s and three Airbus A330-300s.-TradeArabia News Service