Launch of in-flight mobile phone use onboard Irish budget carrier Ryanair has slipped into August as it continues to await final regulatory clearance to go live with the service.

Ryanair plans to initially roll the service out on ten aircraft operating out of Dublin. The service has been developed by SITA/Airbus joint venture OnAir and enables passengers to use their mobile phones and GPRS-based devices in-flight during the majority of the flight. The carrier hopes the service will help further increase its growing ancillary revenues.

Launch of the Ryanair trial has already slipped during the lengthy regulatory approval process for the service and the Irish carrier had most recently hoped to go live with the service onboard 14 aircraft this month.

“It’s been a very hard struggle to deal with the vast number of regulatory authorities involved,” said Ryanair deputy CEO Howard Millar at a results press conference in London yesterday. He says the carrier now hopes to launch the service during August.

“We plan to roll it out on ten aircraft operating out of Dublin initially and follow to around 40 aircraft by the end of the year,” he says.

Irish telecom regulator ComReg has already given its backing to in-flight mobile phone use and a spokesman for OnAir says it expects authorisation for the service on Ryanair’s Boeing 737s from EASA in the next four weeks. “With this in place, comes the clearance from ComReg - it is the final part of the approval process for Ryanair to fly with mobile OnAir,” he explains.

OnAir already has EASA approval for its service onboard Airbus A320 family aircraft and has just launched its second commercial airline trial onboard a TAP Portugal A319.

Source:'s sister premium news site Air Transport Intelligence news

Source: Flight International