Emirates starts airborne mobile phones

Mar 24, 2008 (LBO) – Emirates airline has commercially launched an in-flight mobile telephone service costing 27 million dollars, partnering with the communications firm AeroMobile, the carrier said. “The first authorised mobile phone call made from a commercial flight was made today at 30,000ft enroute to Casablanca, onboard an Emirates Airbus A340-300 aircraft,” the airline said in a statement.

Chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al-Maktoum said in a statement that his fleet already has seat phones and e-mail and text message facilities through the entertainment system.

“Our customers are already making more than 7,000 calls a month from our in-seat phones, so we will be making life easier for those for whom staying in touch has become an important part of their everyday lives,” he was quoted as saying in the statement.

“We know that many airlines are interested in AeroMobile and will be keen to follow Emirates’ lead,” AeroMobile chief executive Bjorn-Taale Sandberg added.

Emirates and AeroMobile have worked with regulators around the world to test and certify the system for 18 months.

The system will be activated after reaching cruising altitude and voice calls will be stopp

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