Air New Zealand will be enabling its new Boeing 777-300 aircraft with mobile phone and data capability, with the first aircraft due for delivery in November this year.
The introduction of the new service will enable Air New Zealand’s customers to use their iPhone, Blackberry and GSM mobile phones to safely send and receive emails and text messages during their flights.
“Feedback from our customers has shown they wish to be able to text, and check emails, to stay in touch with friends, family and colleagues during their long-haul flights,” says Ed Sims Air New Zealand Group General Manager International Airline.
The new service will also enable customers to use their Netbooks or laptops used in conjunction with their mobile broadband connection (e.g. Telecom’s T-Stick and Vodafone’s Vodem) to access their emails and internet.
Based on recent customer feedback, Air New Zealand does not currently plan to enable voice calls onboard.
“Customers onboard our new Boeing 777-300 aircraft will be able to use their own GSM/GPRS devices safely when the system is activated during the cruise stage of flight,” says Mr Sims.
“Passengers will also be requested to keep their phones on ‘silent’ mode.”
Air New Zealand is delivering this service to its customers in partnership with Aeromobile, the world’s leading inflight phone and data operator.
Customers will be billed by their own mobile service provider, as with any other international roaming plan.
Standard inflight roaming costs apply, which with Telecom XT is 80c per outbound text and no cost to receive them. The cost for mobile broadband is $40.00 per megabyte of data. Other mobile phone providers, including Vodafone, will be confirming pricing in the coming months.
The new mobile text and data service is subject to regulatory approval.
Issued by Air New Zealand Public Affairs ph +64 9 336 2761
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Air New Zealand is proud to be a member of Star Alliance. The Star Alliance network was established in 1997 as the first truly global airline alliance to offer worldwide reach, recognition and seamless service to the international traveller. Its acceptance by the market has been recognised by numerous awards, including the Air Transport World Market Leadership Award, Best Airline Alliance by both Business Traveller Magazine and Skytrax. The member airlines are: Adria Airways, Air Canada, Air China, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Austrian, Blue1, bmi, Brussels Airlines, Continental Airlines, Croatia Airlines, EGYPTAIR, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, Shanghai Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, Spanair, SWISS, TAM Airlines, TAP Portugal, Turkish Airlines, THAI, United and US Airways. Aegean Airlines and Air India have been announced as future members. Overall, the Star Alliance network offers 21,050 daily flights to 1,167 airports in 181 countries.