2009 a breakthrough year for OnAir

OnAir has celebrated its 100,000th commercial flight with its inflight connectivity services. The milestone crowns a successful 2009 with five service launches and nine new agreements with airlines, governmental and VIP operators around the world.

OnAir now helps airline passengers to stay in touch as they fly on over 10,000 flights each month, to 282 cities in 72 countries across Europe, the Middle East, North America and North Africa. OnAir now has regulatory and roaming agreements in place with 171 mobile operators across these continents.

In 2009, outside of the domestic United States market, OnAir has signed up six of the eight airlines which have announced inflight connectivity programmes.

OnAir services have been taken up by a wide spectrum of airlines – twenty in all, including low-cost carrier Ryanair, and British Airways for its premium business-class service linking London City and New York.

“Our 100,000th flight is a milestone,” said Benoit Debains, CEO of OnAir. “Ramp up in commercial use through 2009 means we are looking at 2010 as the year in which the service will become commonplace across the industry. Airlines are becoming more receptive to the benefits of the service – a differentiated offering to passengers, better customer care, and very real operational gains both in efficiency and cost control.”

Analysys Mason analyst, David Martin, in December 2009, confirmed this confidence in his assessment of the inflight connectivity opportunity: “…a huge potential market… It is our view that in-flight communications will eventually establish themselves by virtue of sheer consumer demand.”

Business momentum for OnAir has accelerated in recent months, and continues in 2010. In December 2009, OnAir announced a new SMS service enabling airlines to communicate with individual passengers during the flight.

On 5 January, OnAir announced expansion into the shipping sector, providing Hapag Lloyd Cruises’ flagship MS Europa with OnAir’s Mobile technology, using an existing KU-band satellite link – and underlining the versatility of OnAir’s technology in being able to use various types of satellite links. Close on the heels of the Hapag Lloyd deal, OnAir announced a further airline deal for short-haul and long-range flights.

In February 2010, OnAir goes live with Internet OnAir, a new service which enables airline passengers to access the Internet and VPN networks as they do on the ground by connecting their laptops either wirelessly or via a wired connection.

Mobile OnAir uses the industry’s most advanced and extensive infrastructure for mobile communications, giving mobile travellers the best reach and performance available today.