Ryanair to seek new phone service after splitting with OnAir

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Irish budget carrier Ryanair is to look for an alternative on-board mobile phone provider after OnAir opted to terminate its contract with the airline.

Ryanair formally launched a trial of the service in February last year under an initial scheme to fit 20 Boeing 737-800 aircraft.

It had been intending a roll-out of the service across its entire fleet of more than 200 aircraft but this plan has been put on hold by the development.

But while Ryanair says it is "pleased" with the performance, and says that call and text volumes were "rapidly growing", it says OnAir is "unwilling to commit" to a full fleet roll-out "at this time". Ryanair says it "regrets" the decision.

OnAir has exercised its right to terminate the agreement following a 13-month proving period, says Ryanair, adding that it will "invite other in-flight communications providers" to tender for a similar agreement.

AeroMobile has been OnAir's main rival for on-board phone services. The company has recently experienced a difficult period, after filing for administration and emerging in January as a subsidiary of Telenor Group.