BY JAMES WILKINSON
Air New Zealand has fitted out the first of its domestic Airbus A320 aircraft with mobile phone and data capability, the first airline to offer the service on a regular basis on commercial flights in Australasia.
The airline’s new black painted, rugby-themed A320 will, within the next month, feature the service innovative service exclusively on domestic flights, whereby mobile phone signals are routed through an aircraft cell site.
New in-flight roaming costs will apply for the service, which will be available during the cruise stage of domestic flights, including: ZZ80c per outbound text; $3.50 per minute to make a call; $2 per minute to receive a call; and $20 per megabyte of data.
Air New Zealand’s General Manager Airline Operations Captain David Morgan said this new technology – provided by Vodafone and OnAir – is part of the airline’s commitment to provide its customers with innovative solutions.
“Feedback from our customers shows they value being able to stay in touch with work colleagues, friends and family while they are in the air,” he said.
“This new in-flight technology, which uses an aircraft-based cell site and Inmarsat satellites, will mean our customers onboard the new black A320 aircraft will be able to safely use their mobile to stay in touch by text, phone call and email.”
Air New Zealand has a further 13 A320 aircraft on order from Airbus, which will be operated solely on domestic flights.