TAM to put OnAir on A350s as part of long-haul fleet fit

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Brazilian carrier TAM is to fit OnAir connectivity across its future Airbus A350s as part of a broad agreement to equip its long-haul fleet with the system.

It claims it will be the first airline in the Americas to offer a full range of passenger connectivity services on its long-haul jets.

The operator started conducting a four-aircraft trial on its short-haul fleet towards the end of last year and subsequently opted to fit additional Airbus A320-family jets with the mobile phone capability.

But the airline is to extend the agreement to its long-haul fleet which will include 12 Boeing 777-300ERs, 10 Airbus A330-200s and 27 A350-900s.

The long-haul fit will enable passengers to take advantage of wi-fi services when roll-out begins in the second half of next year.

Along with 31 A320-family jets being equipped, the OnAir system will feature on 80 aircraft in the Brazilian airline's fleet.

"There is no doubt that in-flight connectivity will become ubiquitous and we are determined to lead the way," said TAM supply and contracts vice-president Jose Zaidan Maluf.

TAM is to submit a request for long-haul installation having already secured approval for the short-haul fit. It added that all the necessary telecom and roaming agreements are in place.

"We are the only in-flight connectivity services provider to have customers on five continents, meaning we are the only truly global provider," said OnAir chief Ian Dawkins.