Virgin offers in flight calls

by Jessica MCILHINNEY on May 11, 2012

The service is to initially become available on the airline’s new Airbus A330s that will fly from London to New York. By the end of the year, the service will be available on at least 17 planes covering 10 routes.

AeroMobile, part-owned by Panasonic, will provide all in-flight mobile access. Virgin is to charge passengers roughly the same as the amount that would have to paid under usual roaming charges.

The UK’s flaghsip carrier, British Airways, currently offers its passengers an in-flight text service and internet access on just one route between London’s City Airport and hubs in New York, although in-flight calls are not permitted.

Neither Virgin nor British Airways’ service can be utilisted during flight take-off or when the plane is landing. Also, US laws mean that all mobile phones and other electronic devices have to be turned off at least 250 miles from American airspace.

Due to limited bandwidth, only a small handful of lines can be available at any given time. Although AeroMobile is currently working on upgrading its services, only the most basic internet access is possible at present.

Reputable airlines such as Australian flagship carrier Qantas, Emirates, and Germany’s Lufthansa are included in the nine non-UK travel giants that already offer a AeroMobile service, but Virgin will be the first British carrier to deploy it.

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