Emirates Celebrates a Decade of In-Flight Calls

Emirates pioneered in-flight calling 10 years ago. Photo coutesy of Emirates

Emirates is celebrating 10 years of enabling mobile phone use onboard its — and any commercial — aircraft. In March 2008, Emirates became the first airline in the world to allow customers to make and receive calls, as well as send SMS messages from their mobile phones.

The inaugural phone call was made March 20, 2008, on Emirates flight EK751 from Dubai, United Arab Emirates, to Casablanca, Morocco. Since then, more than 2.8 million calls have followed, Emirates said.

The longest call on record took place on a flight from Orlando, Florida, to Dubai Feb. 5, and lasted 3 hours 50 minutes.

Over the last decade, Emirates said 87 million SMS messages have also been sent or received.

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