Passengers on Qatar Airways’ Boeing 787 Dreamliner sent text messages, emailed, tweeted, updated social media accounts and used the internet throughout the journey, according to an official spokesman. The plane is the first B787 with in-flight connectivity. It is provided by OnAir, delivering both WiFi internet and mobile phone access to passengers.
There were nearly 100 passengers on the 13-hour flight from Seattle to Doha. There were over 50 internet sessions, using a total of 1,250MB of data, with the average usage per session being around 22MB. The mobile phone network was used by nearly 75 phones. 340 text messages were sent and nearly 50MB of mobile data was used.
Comments from passengers were reportedly positive and many of them, the company claimed, enjoyed live tweeting throughout the flight, particularly sending pictures of the meals and the aurora borealis.
Mobile OnAir has reportedly been in operation on Qatar’s A320 fleet for three years, enabling passengers to use their mobile phones and smartphones on flights in Africa, Europe and the Middle East.
“Qatar’s passengers are used to staying in touch with friends and family using OnAir: access to connectivity is now an integral part of any in-flight experience,” said Ian Dawkins, CEO of OnAir. “This is the first of Qatar’s B787s and OnAir will be on the entire fleet. These are the most modern aircraft being operated by an airline that prides itself on the highest levels of passenger services.”
Qatar’s Dreamliner will enter commercial service on Tuesday 20 November. Qatar Airways has 60 B787s on order, all of which will be equipped with OnAir connectivity.