Saudia is the second B787 operator to offer OnAir connectivity, reaffirming OnAir’s position as the leading inflight connectivity provider; Kuwait Airways became the tenth Middle East customer to choose OnAir as its connectivity provider, while TAAG Angola Airlines has become OnAir’s first Sub-Saharan African customer.
HAMBURG – After equipping its A330 and B777 fleets with OnAir’s services, Saudia’s B787 aircraft will become the latest fleet to be connected. All of Saudia’s long-haul fleets are now connected with OnAir.
Saudia is the second B787 operator to offer OnAir connectivity, reaffirming OnAir’s position as the leading inflight connectivity provider. The first of Saudia’s eight B787s is due for delivery in December 2015. Saudia’s decision to include OnAir connectivity on its Dreamliners confirms the success of OnAir’s GSM and Wi-Fi services on its other fleets. The airline has seen a 400 percent increase in mobile data usage and 254 percent increase in internet usage over the last 12 months. The aircraft will be equipped with a Thales TopConnect solution enabling access to OnAir’s Wi-Fi Internet and mobile phone services over Inmarsat SwiftBroadband (SBB).
The provision of OnAir connectivity services on this B787 fleet marks a significant milestone in Saudia’s efforts to implement a seamless, consistent brand offering across all its fleets. Saudia’s commitment to OnAir as its preferred service provider is integral to the effective execution of this strategy. The versatility of OnAir’s services make them the right ones to be launched across a variety of aircraft types.
“Saudia is very happy to be expanding our cabin connectivity with OnAir services,” said Mr. Abdul Mohsen Jonaid, Chief Commercial Officer of Saudia. “We have seen how well our inflight connectivity has been received by passengers and OnAir is the natural choice for us when we decided to include connectivity on our B787s. Passengers want and expect to be connected and we want to provide the best passenger experience.”
OnAir connectivity has been flying with Saudia for four years. During this time, OnAir has partnered with the airline through various fleet expansions, as well as providing connectivity for new routes that the airline has introduced. OnAir has provided the level of coverage necessary to maintain a high consistency of service across all the routes that Saudia flies.
“It is great to see new agreements coming as the result of existing relationships with airlines,” said Ian Dawkins, CEO of OnAir. “Saudia’s entire long range fleet is now connected with OnAir. We have gained Saudia’s trust by consistently delivering on all our commitments. This has cemented our long term partnership and put it firmly on track for future growth.”
Kuwait Airways also Puts Passengers Online with OnAir
Kuwait Airways became the tenth Middle East customer to choose OnAir as its connectivity provider, for 12 new aircraft as part of its privatization and complete fleet upgrade. The airline has ordered five A330s and seven A320s, all of which will be line fitted with Mobile OnAir and Internet OnAir. The first A320 and first A330 will be delivered in December 2014 and May 2015 respectively.
OnAir is now the pre-eminent provider in the Middle East, which is fast emerging as the leading region in the world for inflight connectivity. This was recognised at Aircraft Interiors Middle East show where OnAir was named Best Connectivity Provider at the Inflight IFEC Awards.
Established in 1954, Kuwait Airways is an international airline flying routes all over the world, needing connectivity coverage wherever it flies. OnAir connectivity uses Inmarsat’s SwiftBroadband global network. Alongside its widespread regulatory coverage, this means OnAir can provide Kuwait Airways’ passengers the same level of service on all of KAC’s network.
Kuwait chose to line fit its new aircraft with Airbus’ ALNAv2 network architecture. This line fitting option is affordable and does not require any additional antennae.
“OnAir was the right offering for us,” said Rasha Al-Roumi – Kuwait Airways Chairperson. “On top of the proven SwiftBroadband service which is available line fit on our new aircraft now, OnAir has GX Aviation capability waiting in the wings. We can offer passengers the connectivity they expect from a leading airline, as well as formulate a plan for the easy transfer to GX Aviation when it is available.”
OnAir’s SwiftBroadband solution has a clear deployment path to GX Aviation, Inmarsat’s imminent high speed network. OnAir’s service is ready for the next major step in inflight connectivity.
“Kuwait Airways chose OnAir because of our proven credentials in the Middle East market,” said Ian Dawkins. “Only we can deliver the consistent global coverage that passengers want, so they can stay in touch with the family, friends and colleagues throughout their journey.”
TAAG Angola Airlines puts pan-African connectivity on B777-300ER fleet
TAAG Angola Airlines has become OnAir’s first Sub-Saharan African customer – line fitting its new B777-300ER fleet with Internet OnAir and Mobile OnAir. The airline will use Thales’ TopConnect to access OnAir’s inflight Wi-Fi and mobile phone services on its new fleet, to be delivered from May 2014.
OnAir offers a consistent, reliable service across Africa and all the routes the airline flies, thanks to the widest-reaching network of regulatory approvals and the largest and most geographically diverse number of roaming agreements of any provider.
With authorizations from over 100 countries and more than 375 roaming agreements, OnAir provides consistent coverage on all the major routes across the world. In addition, OnAir uses Inmarsat’s SwiftBroadband satellite network, the only network to provide worldwide coverage.
“TAAG is an ambitious airline, leading the modernization of air transport in Angola,” said Captain Lourenco Manuel Gomes Neto, Executive Vice President Operations, TAAG Angola Airlines. “OnAir connectivity, in the form of inflight Wi-Fi and GSM, gives our passengers the freedom to stay in touch with the world outside the aircraft, strongly enhancing their experience. The worldwide service reliability is particularly important, given the routes we fly across from and across Africa.”
Passengers flying on TAAG Angola’s B777-300ER will experience the full benefits of OnAir connectivity. The inflight Wi-Fi solution, Internet OnAir, enables passengers to email, update their social media, and browse news sites. Like a Wi-Fi hotspot on the ground, passengers only need to log on and their enter credit card details before they are free to surf the Internet.
Passengers can also use OnAir’s inflight GSM product, Mobile OnAir, to email, text, talk, and use their mobile apps as they please. Charges are included in the user’s monthly phone bill, exactly like using international roaming.
“This new deal with TAAG Angola Airlines shows that cabin connectivity is now a truly global market,” said Ian Dawkins. “We are in the strongest position to make inflight connectivity a truly worldwide phenomenon, given the breadth and depth of our regulatory and roaming agreement networks. On top of SwiftBroadband’s consistency across the world, this means we can offer an uncompromised service to all airlines, wherever they might be.”
Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales.
She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.