SITA OnAir Sees 13 Million Passengers Connect In-Flight, Points to Growing Trend

By Juliet Van Wagenen | February 4, 2015
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Passengers using OnAir mobile and Internet connectivity in-flight
Passengers using OnAir mobile and Internet connectivity in-flight. Photo: OnAir

[Avionics Today 02-04-2015] At the Aircraft Interiors Middle East (AIME) conference in Dubai, SITA OnAir announced that 13 million people took advantage of its Mobile OnAir network in 2014. The in-flight mobile phone service is available on 15 airlines, with an estimated 37 percent of passengers flying OnAir-equipped aircraft connecting to the in-flight network.

With 80 percent of passengers carrying Wi-Fi enabled smartphones, the connectivity provider finds that the demand for mobile connectivity has never been higher. In 2014, mobile data was the company’s most popular service, used by 65 percent of the passengers who connected to OnAir’s onboard mobile network. Text messaging accounted for 31 percent of usage and phone calls made up 21 percent with the rest covered by passengers surfing the Internet.
“Phones are now such an integral part of our lives, it’s impossible to imagine leaving home without one. These usage numbers show very clearly that people don’t want to switch off at the aircraft door,” said François Rodriguez, chief strategy and marketing officer of SITA OnAir.

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