Written by by Staff Writer
Emirates Airlines has unveiled its vision for the future of air travel and it all centers around inflight calls, making calls, SMS messages and video calls possible on long-haul flights within the airline’s business model.
Starting this March, customers of the airline can use Emirates’ mobile phone services on its fleet of wide-body aircraft, including the Airbus A380 aircraft. When contacted, Emirates confirmed this service will work on some distance-based international flights within the airline’s route network, including New York JFK, Dubai, Beijing, Sydney, Beijing, Los Angeles, Auckland, Tokyo, Seoul, London and Amsterdam.
The system will be available for pre-order and being implemented later this year, according to a message posted on social media site Twitter by airline spokesperson Rob Marcarelli.
The Dubai-based airline says it has signed a deal with US mobile carrier T-Mobile to begin offering the service.
The standard for calling aboard aircraft and operated by mobile carriers comes from the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the Council of Heads of State for the International Air Transport Association (IATA), according to phone booking website Cheapskate.co.uk.
While such services are a welcome addition to the international travel experience, their implementation is still a novelty.
The Telegraph newspaper reported earlier this year that Simon Yates, UK’s chief aviation analyst, expects inflight phone calls on all planes within five years.
However, international airlines are already encountering criticism from passengers for using their phones for traveling purposes.
Airlines are using data collected from passengers’ smartphones on long-haul flights to help them figure out which destinations to serve. Photo credit: CNN
During 2015 the Australian aviation industry was rocked by a privacy nightmare after a privacy commissioner ruled that Australian airline Qantas had violated its passengers’ privacy in its use of mobile phone data collected during flights to help it plan routes.
The information collected included the names, addresses, phone numbers and SMS information of passengers.