Oman Air has introduced onboard mobile telephone and wireless Internet on the A330, offering customers both services for the first time in the airline industry.
Following the 1 March world debut of this combination on Oman Air’s new A330-300 flying the Muscat-London Heathrow route, the service will be rolled out across the carrier’s entire A330 fleet on long-haul flights to Frankfurt, Munich, Paris, Bangkok, Maldives and Colombo.
This capability also makes Oman Air the first operator to use Airbus' ALNA v2 platform over Inmarsat's SwiftBroadband (SBB) aeronautical service, which can support data rates of up to 432 kbps per channel. It is provided by OnAir, a company owned by Airbus and its business partner, SITA – which is the leading information technology solutions provider for the air transport sector.
With Oman Air’s OnAir service, passengers can receive and make calls, check voicemail, send and receive text and multimedia messages and access e-mails and websites – staying in touch during their flight as they would normally do on the ground.
“The potential is huge, and the only limit is our imagination,” said Pierre Drouet-Fleurizelle, head of Airbus’ connectivity programme. “With a ‘connected aircraft,’ additional opportunities also are possible, from telemedicine to cockpit services such as the Electronic Flight Bag, graphical weather maps, and much more.”