Philippines Airlines (PAL) will offer passengers mobile and free wi-fi internet access on-board Asia Pacific, Australasia and North American flights by mid-year as reported by marketing-interactive.com.
In a statement, the flagship carrier has partnered with Geneva-based inflight connectivity company OnAir to install GSM and wi-fi devices onboard Airbus A330-343s and Boeing B777-300ERs starting in May.
PAL reportedly beats Cebu Pacific to the punch as the first carrier to provide in-flight wi-fi services in the country.
Collaborating also with OnAir, the low-budget carrier announced last July that wi-fi services will be onboard its planned long-haul flights, which was then poised to be the first budget flier to do so in Southeast Asia.
Cebu Pacific’s maiden long-haul to Dubai, however, is scheduled on October.
“As the country’s leading airline, we must enable our passengers to stay in touch during flights. Connectivity is an absolute requirement for today’s travellers,” Ramon Ang, PAL president, said.
“It’s important for us and our customers to have a service that is global, of high quality and flexible enough to suit the needs of all passengers,” he added.
Ian Dawkins, chief executive officer at OnAir, said that GSM and Wi-Fi use inflight mirrors behavior on-ground.
He said that passengers use phones or tablets for calls, text messages, emails, updating Facebook and Twitter, as well as the internet. People who need relatively more stable net speeds prefer Wi-Fi.
“People typically use the Wi-Fi for business. It is more suitable for heavier email and internet usage. We give passengers the choice.”
PAL’s corporate communications team were not available as of writing to confirm if the carrier will offer wi-fi advertising for brands who want to target passengers hooked on the internet in-flight.