Emirates says first to offer inflight mobile calls
DUBAI — Dubai-based Emirates airlines said on Thursday it has become the first carrier in the world to commercially launch an inflight mobile telephone service.
It said the first authorised mobile telephone call made from a commercial flight was made on Thursday at 30,000 feet (about 9,000 metres) from an Emirates Airbus A340-300 aircraft travelling from Dubai to Casablanca.
The aircraft is the first in the airline's fleet to be fitted with the AeroMobile system, which ensures mobile telephones operate at minimum power during flights so as to not interfere with aircraft electronics.
Passengers will be be allowed to make five or six calls per flight and will also be able to send and receive text messages.
Emirates, which is the largest airline in the Middle East, serves 99 cities in 62 countries.
It is owned by the government of Dubai, which a booming member of the oil-rich United Arab Emirates and is positioning itself as a global travel hub.