Aircraft Interior Expo, Hamburg, March 28, 2012 – Thai Airways International’s (THAI) passengers will soon be able to use their mobile phones and laptops during flights. Under the agreement between the Thai Flag Carrier and OnAir, THAI’s brand new wide-body regional and long-haul inter-continental aircraft delivered between 2012 and 2017 will be equipped with inflight connectivity services. The Mobile OnAir and Internet OnAir products will be available on selected flights serving international destinations in Europe as well as destinations within the airline’s regional network, including Japan.
The services will initially be installed on six Airbus A380 and seven Airbus A330 aircraft. The service implementation is expected by the end of Q2/2012, with full roll-out completed by 2014. It is part of a major investment program to modernize THAI’s in-flight products and ensure THAI’s position in top airline industry rankings.
“Inflight Connectivity is yet another innovative service for THAI passengers, with 35 new wide-bodied aircraft to be deployed throughout our expanding network globally over the next five years- As we’re raising the service levels for our passengers even higher, this marks a further milestone in taking our business into the very top league of global airlines,” said Mr.Teerapol Chotichanapibal, THAI’s Executive Vice President, Product and Customer Services.
Ian Dawkins, CEO of OnAir, said, “This agreement demonstrates that OnAir is the leading global inflight connectivity service provider. Our services are available across the world thanks to our extensive network of regulatory approvals and roaming agreements. We also have the satellite technology, in Inmarsat’s SwiftBroadband, both for global coverage and to meet passengers’ connectivity needs today and in the future, with a clear deployment path to Global Xpress.”
To use Mobile OnAir, passengers simply use their own mobile phones in exactly the same way as they do when roaming abroad, for calls, text messages, email and mobile data. Internet OnAir lets passengers use their laptops, or any WiFi-enabled device, to connect to the Internet during a flight. It operates in the same way as a terrestrial hotspot; the passenger simply needs to enter credit card details and start surfing.
About Thai Airways International
Thai Airways International Public Company Limited (THAI) is the designated national carrier of the Kingdom of Thailand. Founded in 1960, THAI currently operates an average of 876 flights weekly on domestic, regional and intercontinental routes to 72 destinations in 35 countries spanning five continents, including Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and North America. The key to THAI’s success is its major award-winning in-flight and on-ground service, convenient schedules and on-time performance.
THAI’s philosophy is to provide Thai hospitality service with world class product for splendid travel experience to premium passengers. THAI aims to be the “First Choice Carrier with Touches of Thai.” The success of THAI in the 50 years of operation has been endorsed through countless international awards the airline has received. It is regularly voted among the world’s most admired carriers in research carried out by leading travel magazines and from Internet passenger surveys.
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 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, Mobile Data and Internet.
OnAir was incorporated in February 2005 and is owned by SITA, the leading IT solutions provider to the air transport world and Airbus, the leading aircraft manufacturer. OnAir is a member of the GSM Association and an Inmarsat Distribution Partner for SwiftBroadband services.
Today OnAir has 46 customers, of which 20 are currently in service. By the end of 2012 we expect to be in service with 23 global airlines. The company also has regulatory approvals and roaming agreements covering more than 2.2 billion GSM subscribers.