Saturday, September 15, 2012

Singapore Airlines formally brings Internet and mobile data services to its long haul flights

This September, Singapore Airlines formally launched its US$50 Million In-Flight Connectivity Programme which will bring Internet and mobile data services to customers. The service has already be soft launched on a limited number of aircraft and by this month it will be available on 14 aircraft in Singapore Airline fleet, including all five Airbus A340-500s operating between Singapore and both Newark and Los Angeles. With this service travellers can surf the Internet, send and receive emails on smartphones and other electronic devices, and send and receive SMS text messages (not available in A-380s yet) with GSM-compatible mobile phones.[1]

But you will not be able to watch your favorite Korean drama on kimchidramas yet (well kimchidramas is shut down anyway) at least if you are not willing to pay hundreds of dollars per episode. Singapore Airlines In-Flight promotional price plans (which will last until 30 November 2012) are US$25 for 30 megabytes of data and US$10 for 10 megabytes of data (The previous plans cost US$29.95 for 26 megabytes and US$11.95 for 10 megabytes).

If you are a SingTel customer there is also a joint promotion with SingTel which allows you to enjoy discounted roaming rates of up to 40% for in-flight text messaging and GPRS data services.

Singapore Airlines Wifi services
In-Flight Connectivity Programme is executed through a partnership with OnAir and the technology will be rolled out across all of SIA’s long-haul Airbus A380-800, A340-500 and Boeing 777-300ER aircraft over the next two years.

OnAir, a joint venture with SITA and Airbus, is a company which enables airline and cruise ship passengers to use their mobile phones and laptops for calls, text messaging, emails and Internet browsing. Currently some airlines  such as Qantas,  British Airways, Air Asia, Hong Kong Airlines,  Aeroflot, Air New Zealand, AZAL Azerbaijan Airlines, Etihad Airways – A320, A330-300, Thai Airways, All Nippon Airlines, Cebu Pacific Air, Shenzhen Airlines, Wataniya Airways, Air Blue, Kingfisher Airlines and TAM Airlines are offering this service.

[1] - Singapore Airlines Launches US$50 Million In-Flight Connectivity Programme
[2] - OnAir (telecommunications)

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