Dubai-based airline Emirates has announced it will allow passengers travelling on its A380 aircraft to make in-flight phonecalls.
The first call was made last week using the airline’s OnAir Wi-Fi technology, which allows passengers to use their own mobile phones to make and receive phone calls and text messages from Emirates A380 aircraft in-flight, just as they would on the ground, using EDGE/GPRS connections through their mobile service provider.
However, calls will still be restricted within 250 miles of the US, where the service will shut down due to Federal Aviation Administration rules.
In the 1990s, Emirates equipped its Airbus fleet with phones and fax machines and in 2006 the tech-savvy airline allowed passengers to send emails and texts from their mobile devices. Phone calls were never possible though due to the shortcomings of satellite systems used at that time.
Airline VP Patrick Brannelly said: “Emirates continues to invest in the most innovative technology possible and promises to keep pushing the boundaries of the in-flight innovation for the benefit of our passengers.”