Later this year, Lufthansa will allow all long-haul passengers to use their mobiles for texting and internet browsing from 30,000 feet.
The airline already has eight aircraft with mobile connectivity, but will roll out the service across over 100 of its long-haul fleet using the Aeromobile network. Prices will be similar to ‘rest of world’ terrestrial roaming rates, said the airline.
AeroMobile’s services are also available on nine other airlines, including Etihad, Emirates and Virgin Atlantic. It’s available to customers of more than 240 mobile phone operators worldwide.
Customers can’t currently make voice calls on the service, but Lufthansa said it had not ruled the idea out.
“It’s great news that Lufthansa will be rolling out AeroMobile connectivity on their entire fleet this year; we know that passengers are keen to keep their mobile phones on inflight and Lufthansa clearly recognises the value of offering this service,” said Kevin Rogers, CEO of AeroMobile.
“The service will give travellers the flexibility to use their mobile devices as much or as little as they like during a flight, whether it’s to send an SMS to a loved one, keep on top of emails or update their Facebook status.”
Budget airline, Ryanair, has also announced that passengers will be able to use portable electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets, MP3 players, laptops and e-readers for the flight’s duration, including take off and landing. However, all devices must be put into ‘flight mode’, so they can’t be used to go online, send texts or make calls.