Emirates receives first Airbus A380 with in-flight Wi-Fi

I’m hearing that Emirates has taken delivery of an Airbus A380 with OnAir’s SwiftBroadband-supported in-flight Wi-Fi solution, and that a second OnAir-fitted aircraft is due to arrive this week (aircraft registrations – A6-EDN and and A6-EDO).

So, is it time to power up those devices and turn on in-flight Wi-Fi? And just how much will Emirates charge passengers to use the service? I’m sure we’ll hear the details soon. For reference, however, Oman Air – also a customer of OnAir – charges passengers $29.95 for 26 MB per flight for Internet.

For the last couple of years, Emirates has been fitting its fleet with AeroMobile’s in-flight mobile connectivity solution. By the end of the year, some 87 Emirates aircraft will offer AeroMobile on board.

However,  when it came to connectivity for the A380, Emirates tapped OnAir to firstly bring Wi-Fi to its passengers and later a mobile connectivity solution akin to what is offered on the carrier’s AeroMobile-equipped aircraft. A joint venture between Airbus and SITA, OnAir is the only firm with linefit offerable status on the A380 (so, if Emirates had wanted something else, the carrier would have needed to bolt it on post-delivery via retrofit).

In any case, it’s great to see connectivity finally coming to the A380!

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