PHOTOS: Ryanair’s O’Leary does the mobile phone Can-Can

The celebration was fierce yesterday when spunky Irish operator Ryanair finally launched mobile phone connectivity following several delays. Dressed as a mobile phone, Ryanair chief Michael O’Leary joined OnAir’s head honcho Benoit Debain in a bit of a a Can-Can dance. And why the hell not? A total 20 Ryanair Boeing 737s have been equipped with the system and the rest of the fleet is expected to be mobile-friendly within 18 months, as the Independent reports. Check out the pics below (note the ease at which the system can be turned ON and OFF…come on America, aren’t we ready yet?)

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7 Responses to PHOTOS: Ryanair’s O’Leary does the mobile phone Can-Can

  1. LeeZ February 20, 2009 at 12:51 pm #

    To be honest, I hope America is never ready for this. I just can’t fathom sitting next to some idiot blathering away to their friends for hours. Now, if these aircraft had, say, a cell-phone courtesy booth or something, that might be one thing.

    I can only imagine the first year of a service like this: “Hey mom, guess where I’m calling you from. That’s right! An airplane!”

    I like the approach that other carriers are looking at that would allow data/texting on cell phones, but not voice calls.

    Before anyone accuses me of being curmudgeonly, I’m 25. I love my internet and my connectivity to the world just as much as the next 20-something, but I really don’t fathom voice calls on airplanes.

  2. Eric February 20, 2009 at 2:52 pm #


    I agree with you 100%. I hope this never comes to light in the U.S.

    I’m 28 and love my internet, iPhone and other technology items, but I can’t bear the thought of hearing about the next person’s problems on a coast to coast flight. It is hard enough to sleep or not be disrtached on an aircraft without passengers on their cell phones!

    This is not to say the people won’t use voice over IP like Skype with wireless internet onboard.

    What ever happened to reading and learing soemthing.


  3. Mary Kirby February 20, 2009 at 8:31 pm #

    It’s already happening in Europe and the Middle East and airlines have found it isn’t being abused like people expected. And the cost is prohibitive enough to keep (most) people from making endless calls. Importantly, an airline can decide when to turn the system ON and OFF. Wouldn’t you like to have the option to make a call during a long-haul flight? What if your flight is delayed and you want/need to book a connecting flight?

  4. AM February 21, 2009 at 4:09 am #

    Just to note that the OnAir service is powered by KID GSM H/W and THALES TopFlight SATCOM (the first ARINC 781 compliant SBB capable SATCOM)

  5. LeeZ February 21, 2009 at 11:14 am #


    The argument you put forth in favor of it is interesting because all of the parameters you mentioned–cost, convenience, quick calls–were totally available on MANY flights for years with the old Airfone systems. If that’s the case, I say bring those back and set up a telephone booth on the plane. Even with a cellphone, put it in a restricted area. Amtrak actually did this for a number of years on their trains–they had the phone booths. And on the TGV in France they have courtesy booths for folks to use their mobile.

    I can just say that from plenty of experience riding a commuter rail or bus, there is nothing more obnoxious than being forced to sit next to someone who blathers on all day on the phone.

  6. xpatjock February 27, 2009 at 9:00 am #

    Thankfully I am not likley to use a Ryanair flight in the near future. (I don’t live near to any of their main bases). However, given that they charge a minimum 3 GBP/minute I would not expect many to take up the option.

    And note that having introduced this, Ryanair are now talking about pay as you P*** toilets onboard.

    Yes pay a pound (or Euro??) to spend a penny on Ryanair 737s. Thats in addition to paying to check in, paying for hold baggage, etc etc…

  7. Can Can Fancy Dress March 17, 2009 at 11:08 am #

    Great Pictures, thanks for sharing