04 Feb 2015 15:30
Etihad Airways, which next month becomes one of the few airlines in the world to offer fleet-wide inflight connectivity services, has witnessed a dramatic surge in Internet and mobile phone usage in 2014.
Reflecting the broader trend for people to use their personal devices
for work and entertainment when travelling, the growth was largely driven by
people logging onto Etihad Airways’ Wi-Fi network, with usage rising by 80 per
cent last year.
Increased demand for onboard mobile services also contributed to the
surge in usage, with 2.6 million devices connecting to the airline’s onboard
mobile network in 2014. Inflight texts and mobile phone calls increased by 62
per cent and 61 per cent respectively, compared to the same period in 2013.
iOS was the most popular operating system onboard, with 55 per cent of
the airline’s guests connecting to the Internet with their iPads and iPhones,
while 30 per cent used devices running on Android’s operating system.
Etihad Airways’ Live TV service is attracting strong interest and
receiving great feedback from travellers, with an average of 50,000 hours of
live news and major sporting events being viewed each month.
Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways’ Chief Commercial Officer, said: “We
continue to redefine our guests’ air travel experience with innovative products
and services, the latest communication technology and entertainment systems
that best fit their needs.
“When people travel, they want to stay connected with
their work, their friends and their family. They also want to be kept up-to-date
with 24 hour world news services. This is now possible for the entire journey
on an Etihad Airways flight.”
The services comprising Wi-Fi, mobile connectivity and live television,
combine the “Etihad Wi-Fly” solution, powered by the Panasonic Avionics Global
Communications Suite, and OnAir’s inflight connectivity solution.
The high-speed broadband services enable guests to access
the Internet from laptops, tablets and smartphones over Wi-Fi, allowing them to
send emails, log onto their favourite social media sites, upgrade seats, change
travel plans and much more, all from the comfort of their seats at 35,000 feet.
The mobile connectivity service allows guests to use their mobile phones
and smartphones to make and receive phone calls, send and read SMS text
messages or email, use mobile data services to browse the web, and much more.
Now available on 43 wide-body aircraft, the Live TV service brings
quality content from seven television channels including BBC World News, Sport
24 and CNN, the top three most viewed channels, and CNBC, euronews, Japan’s NHK
World Premium, and Sky News Arabia.
connected fleet comprises 92 passenger aircraft including 29 Airbus
A319/320/321s, 26 A330s, 11 A340s, one A380, 24 Boeing 777 family aircraft and
the first B787 Dreamliner, which serve routes across six continents. All future
aircraft scheduled for delivery through 2015 will also be equipped with
Packages to access the Internet start at US$5 and can be purchased using
credit cards, PayPal and a range of other convenient payment methods. Mobile
telephone usage will be billed by the guest’s mobile service providers based on
the international roaming rates levied by the service providers.
: All Etihad Airways’
narrow-body aircraft offer a mix of Wi-Fi and mobile services, or mobile