Bmi partners with OnAir to pioneer InFlight
BMI partners with OnAir to pioneer InFlight
Hamburg - September 20, 2005
Bmi today announced its intention to become the first British
airline offering an inflight mobile phone service to passengers
travelling to major business destinations out of Heathrow.
Bmi is preparing to trial the service on an Airbus A320 in late
2006 by which time OnAir expects that the onboard equipment developed
for OnAir by Airbus, Siemens and other partners will be fully
certified and the necessary telecommunications regulatory approvals
will be in place permitting the safe use of mobile phones inflight
for the first time.
“We are very excited about partnering with OnAir to make
this service available to passengers in 2006,” said bmi
chief executive officer, Nigel Turner. “This trial will
guide us on usage patterns and some of the social issues in using
mobile phones on aircraft. It will also help us to confirm the
business case for rolling the service out across the remainder
of the fleet. Initially we would hope to install the equipment
in our short to medium-haul Airbus aircraft,” said Turner.
The target market for bmi will include business and leisure travellers
to its destinations in Europe. The airline sees the offering as
particularly attractive to business travellers flying out of Heathrow
to UK destinations such as Manchester, Glasgow, Edinburgh and
Belfast, and to European destinations such as Amsterdam, Paris,
Brussels and Dublin.
“Our research tells us that our premium passengers have
two key concerns. These are getting quickly through the airport
and the ability to be able to carry on working during their journey,”
said the bmi CEO.
“The OnAir offering opens up an exciting new era for business
travellers allowing them to use their own GSM mobile phones and
other GPRS-enabled devices such as the BlackBerry, to make and
receive voice calls or to send and receive SMS messages or emails
during the flight. We are sure that many travellers will welcome
this expansion of their ability to keep in touch while in the
air,” Turner added.
George Cooper, OnAir CEO said, “We are very pleased to have
such a trend-setting partner taking up the OnAir service. bmi
is the second largest airline operating out of Heathrow and its
route network matches perfectly with our strategy of making mobile
telephony available economically on short to medium-haul flights