5 JANUARY 2015
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Over 250,000 passengers have used Emirates’ free on-board wi-fi since October 2014, taking advantage of the airline’s service to connect with family, friends or colleagues when they fly. With rival Etihad now charging just US$12 for two hours, and in Europe Norwegian also offering it for free, BTN believes that just as with hotels all airlines will eventually have to offer internet as part of their service.
On most Emirates A380s passengers can access 10MBs of free data, enough to send emails, blog, tweet, post on Facebook, or browse the Internet.
Emirates currently offers wi-fi connectivity on 86 aircraft – on board all of its 56 Airbus A380s, as well as over 30 of its Boeing 777s. A comprehensive retrofit programme is under way to install wi-fi capability across the rest of its fleet. On the Emirates’ A380s, the first 10MB of data is free, and a token US$1 charge is levied for the next 500MB. On all other aircraft, getting online also costs US$1 due to the current hardware and software installed.
“Emirates sees inflight wi-fi as an essential value-add service that should be freely available for our customers to connect with friends, family and business,” said Patrick Brannelly, Emirates’ VP for Corporate Communications – Product, Publishing, Digital and Events. www.emirates.com
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