The Airbus A330-300 that will be delivered to Oman Air on 27 November is special for a number of reasons.
The aircraft, MSN1063, will boast Thales IFE and outrageous first class "mini-suites" (outrageous in a good way, see above). But it will also be the first commercial widebody to go into service with Airbus' ALNA v2 platform over Inmarsat's higher-bandwidth SwiftBroadband aeronautical service (providing GSM/GPRS plus WLAN via OnAir).
Does that sound like Greek? Let me clarify. Oman's next A330 will be the most highly connected international widebody in operation today.
Now that's special.
"This is another milestone for SwiftBroadband. Not only is this the first deployment of OnAir on a widebody, it's also the first line fit installation of SwiftBroadband on a widebody airliner," says Lars Ringertz, Inmarsat's head of marketing aeronautical business.
For a solid break-down of the ALNA v2 solution, which was recently tested on an A340 (MSN360), check out the IATA supplement that was handed out last week at WAEA.
And then take a gander at the type of cabins that business and coach class passengers can expect on Oman's new A330s. Connectivity and comfort (and IFE) go hand in hand in hand.