Royal Jordanian is the First Arabian Airline to Offer OnAir Mobile and Internet Services
Royal Jordanian and OnAir signed an agreement whereby RJ, a oneworld member, will provide passengers with OnAir’s inflight Internet and mobile phone services, including email, SMS and voice calls, the first airline in the Middle East to offer such facility.
President/CEO Samer Majali who signed the agreement with OnAir CEO Benois Debains said that the OnAir service will enable Royal Jordanian passengers to use their mobile phones and BlackBerry-type devices to send and receive text messages and emails, and to make and receive mobile phone calls in flight, as well as to use their laptops to access Internet.
He indicated that the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) granted airworthiness certification to OnAir, testifying that neither Mobile OnAir system nor multiple mobiles cause harmful interference to any of the aircraft’s avionics systems.
Majali pointed out that phase one of the agreement stipulates installing the system by the Airbus company in two Airbus A319 that will be joining the fleet in February and March next year. The second phase of the agreement includes implementing the Mobile OnAir Service on the airline’s single-aisle A320 family, installed with a standalone GSM/GPRS system at the end of 2009.
Passengers will be able to use their own mobile phones during flights, above 3,000 meters, whereas during take offs and landings, the service will not be operative.
Majali added: “Mobile OnAir will allow unlimited text messages and emails to be sent, and will allow up to 11 simultaneous voice calls. A central feature of the service is the crew’s ability to turn it off at any time, or switch it to “silent” – text and email only – mode, enabling the airline to customize the services to passengers’ preferences. For example, airlines could turn off the voice element, or even the whole service, during quiet times.”
He also said that the Mobile OnAir Service is one important move that will pave the way for airline mobile self-care services. This will allow the passenger to check the flight status, do his check in, view his itineraries and manage bookings, such as changing flights, selecting seats, requesting upgrades, booking bags and selecting meals. Additionally, it offers passengers information about their destination.
“Royal Jordanian is at the forefront of e-travel. This includes providing passengers with the ability to plan trips, book online, issue e-tickets, make online seat reservations and use self check-in kiosks at the airport. We are now pleased to offer the latest technology: on board communications services, enabling our passengers to carry on with their travel planning, as well as to communicate with their colleagues, friends and families, in exactly the same way they can on the ground,” commented Majali.
Debains said: “We are very pleased that Royal Jordanian has selected us. It will be the first airline in the Middle East to introduce OnAir’s leading passenger communications service and will enable the airline to further enhance its passenger service level in a highly demanding market. It confirms OnAir’s role as the leading supplier of passenger communications with customers in Europe, Asia Pacific, China and now the Middle East.”
“To be able to operate this service, OnAir signed roaming agreements with the world’s mobile operators, among which three Jordanian mobile operators: Zain, Orange and Umniah. The service is invoiced by the passenger’s home mobile operator at international roaming rates,” he added
OnAir was incorporated in February 2005 and is owned by Airbus, the aircraft manufacturer with the most modern and comprehensive product line on the market, and SITA, the world leading provider of air transport focused applications, communications and IT infrastructure.
Present at the ceremony were RJ Vice President/Marketing, Sales and Services Hussein Dabbas, Chief Information Officer Ahmad Abu Ragheb, Head of Engineering and Maintenance Imad Faraheed, Head of Procurement and Logistics Department Samer Abdel Rahim, Executive Assistant/Legal Affairs Hani Kurdi and Project Director Mohammed Obeidat.