Middle Eastern airlines embrace in-flight connectivity

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The Independent Travel

Egypt Air has become the latest airline in the region to offer in-flight connectivity to passengers.

The Egyptian flag-carrier equipped its latest A330-300 with the technology, which allows passengers to use GSM, SMS and GPRS services from their mobile providers on board.

Passengers will also be able to use wifi connections throughout the flight, said the airline, thanks to an arrangement with OnAir which will see the technology rolled out across the fleet.

By February 2012, all of EgyptAir's twin-aisle A330-300 aircraft will be fitted with the technology and will operate on European, Middle Eastern and North American routes, the carrier said last year.

Carriers in the Middle East have been among the first in the world to adopt sophisticated mobile and internet communications systems capable of long-haul travel - in March this year, Oman Air made history by becoming the first long-haul carrier to offer both mobile and wifi connectivity on one of its planes.

In May, Libyan Airlines announces that mobile and wifi technology will be incorporated onboard its fleet of long-haul A330 and mid-range A320 aircraft from September this year.

At around the same time, Qatar also confirmed that it will offer broadband connectivity on all of its Boeing 787s.

Dubai giant Emirates announced in July that all 90 of its flagship, double decker A380s will be equipped with mobile and internet connectivity, starting in June 2012.