[Avionics Today June 24, 2014] Saudi Arabia (Saudia) Airlines is the first Middle East carrier to offer free In-Flight Connectivity (IFC) for its passengers. The Jeddah-based airline is now offering free Wi-Fi to its first class and business class passengers on flights between the Kingdom of Saudia Arabia and the United States, as well as London Heathrow, Paris Charles de Gaulle and Dubai.
OnAir, the IFC provider for Saudia, is providing the free Internet access. The promotion started in May, and Saudia has experienced a 140 percent increase in the number of passengers across its fleet using in-flight Internet. Compared to figures released prior to the promotion, passengers are now consuming triple the amount of data as well. Saudia offers the OnAir service on its fleet of Airbus
A330s and Boeing
777s, and also plans on adding the service to its Boeing
787s that will enter service at the end of 2015.
“We are now breaking new ground by being the first Middle East airline to give free Internet access to our first and business class passengers. We firmly believe other airlines will, in due course, follow our lead," said Abdulmohsen Jonaid, chief commercial officer of Saudia.