Farnborough: Onboard communications provider OnAir and Aviation Center Cologne (ACC) have reached an agreement for the provision of communication services to the business jet market.
Under terms of agreement, ACC will install airborne equipment to enable business jet passengers to use their mobile phones and BlackBerry-type devices in-flight to make and receive calls, exchange text messages and email.
The service will be available to ACC customers from early 2009.
The service will allow business jet passengers to use their own phones and personal devices to call via OnAir and be billed by their usual mobile service providers. This also works to the benefit of aircraft operators, even more so in the fractional ownership market, eliminating the need to invoice customers separately for on-board communications.
ACC is a leading European service provider in maintenance and modification of business jets, with particular expertise in Bombardier Challenger aircraft. It has operational centres at Cologne airport and Luxembourg.
OnAir is a leading in-flight passenger communications service provider, which uses Inmarsat's cutting-edge SwiftBroadband satellite communications for air-to-ground links, and a combination of on-board miniature cellular base stations to support safe, high-quality air-to-ground voice and data communications via passenger mobile phones and BlackBerries.
OnAir's system is under trial onboard Air France and TAP Portugal airlines, and is the subject of another business aircraft installation agreement, with Jet Aviation Basel of Switzerland. Ryanair, BMI and Shenzhen Airlines are slated to follow Air France and TAP in launching their own OnAir trials. Airlines that have agreements with OnAir include AirAsia, AirAsiaX, Jazeera Airlines, Kingfisher Airlines, Oman Air and Royal Jordanian.