The French state airline, Air France will take delivery in early 2007 of the first Airbus aircraft line fitted with the OnAir GSM equipment enabling the use of mobile phones on board, it was announced lst week, at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg. Air France will receive the first aircraft, a single-aisle Airbus A318 that will have the OnAir system pre-installed, and will conduct a six month commercial trial using the new service. The passenger trials will take place on short-haul flights within Europe and to and from North African destinations, and will help Air France to consider every impact this new service may have on the cabin environment and the travel experience.
George Cooper, OnAir CEO, said: “Delivery of the first aircraft to be fitted with our system is a landmark development in this industry. It prepares the ground for many types of aircraft to be similarly equipped.
“OnAir is pleased that an Air France A318 aircraft will be the first off the Airbus assembly line with this equipment installed and that the airline has committed to a six months trial of our system. This is a further endorsement of our service. This aircraft will be flying as part of one of the world’s largest airlines and this therefore represents a very significant step forward for OnAir.”