The lads and ladies of IFE&C are keeping me well on my toes these days. In addition to the RWG blog, I’m spearheading Flight Global’s new IFE&C news channel, where we’re making every effort to run fresh content daily, like the latest news on digEcor’s move to become a total IFE solutions provider.
If you’ve got news (confidential or otherwise), feel free to contact me by the usual means or at my Yahoo address at firstname.lastname@example.org
One firm that is also staying very busy is OnAir, the Airbus/SITA joint venture that scored its first African customer this week with the announcement that Libyan is equipping its newest A320s with in-flight connectivity.
So far, OnAir’s mobile connectivity solution has been installed on well over 50 aircraft, including – but not limited to – 48 at Ryanair, two at Royal Jordanian, three at Wataniya and one at TAP.
Royal Jordanian’s A320s were linefit with OnAir, as were Wataniya’s. British Airways’ transatlantic Airbus A318, which will be delivered later this month, will be linefit with the system, enabling Internet access and transmission of email and text messages. Voice calls will not be initially permitted. (On an aside, the WAEA reported last month that IMS is supplying the portable IFE players to BA).
Meanwhile, the new A330 that will be delivered to Oman Air in mid-November will be linefit with ‘Mobile OnAir’ and ‘Internet OnAir’.
“Oman Air will be delivered with the service integrated with their Thales IFE,” says OnAir’s spokesman Walter Bruderer, noting: “We work with both Thales and Panasonic and can integrate with the IFE systems should the customer request it.”
Asked to address Qatar chief Akbar Al Baker’s comments about a ”pissing match” between Qatar and OnAir, as well as his comments about passengers’ cell phone complaints, Bruderer says:
“There’s nothing to it and OnAir is not aware of any complaints about the voice call portion; needless to say, OnAir is surprised as well. Also, please note that OnAir is not aware of any mobile phone system that is turned on during night flights. Can you let us know who does it?”
Hah! Fair point! No I don’t know any carriers that turn this on in-flight but I also don’t see why it would be such a huge problem since more and more travellers are knocking themselves out on overnight flights.
Oh go on, admit it. Ambien, Lunesta and their kind have become travellers’ best friends (especially travellers who are increasingly finding themselves in economy class when once they enjoyed business class). A blog for another time, perhaps.