Emirates has said clients using more than 100 of its aircrafts will have access to free Wi-Fi.
The Dubai-based airline also said it plans to connect three aircrafts every month until when it will complete connectivity of its 500 fleet.
Annually, the airline spends more than $20m on installing and operating inflight connectivity systems which enable onboard Wi-Fi services. So far, Wi-Fi is only available on ultra-long-haul flights of more than 14 hours. Currently, the service is available on all of Emirates’ 59 Airbus A380 aircraft and 47 of its Boeing 777 aircraft.
On more than 60 per cent of the installed fleet, the first 10MBs are free – sufficient for an update on social media accounts or texting via instant messaging apps.
Besides offering Wi-Fi connectivity on all A380 flights, Emirates is in the process of converting all of its Boeing 777-300ERs and 777-200LRs to become Wi-Fi ready at the rate of two-to-three aircraft per month.
“As a global connector of people and places, Emirates is committed to making our entire fleet Wi-Fi enabled. Customers seek free Wi-Fi on-the-go, especially while travelling, and it is becoming the norm for most people who want to stay connected through online social networks and instant messaging,” says Patrick Brannelly, the divisional vice president for customer experience.
In 2014, about 650,000 customers used Emirates’ Wi-Fi service on board and as of March, more than 350,000 customers had already used the service, according to the airline.
According to Emirates’ data, the websites passengers frequented most include Facebook and Google, and chat services such as Skype and WhatsApp, reflecting travellers’ strong desire to stay connected while on the move.
SOURCE: Daily Monitor