Air France introduces mobile phone services

By Xinhua

Paris : Air France has launched the first mobile phone services on international flights in a move that will allow passengers to use their Internet enabled laptops to send and receive SMS, MMS and e-mail, the airline said Thursday.

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Currently, only Australia’s Qantas airline has a similar service that is offered strictly on domestic flights.

The service to be operated on a six-month experiment basis is to be rolled out on a single Air France plane, an Airbus A318.

“Passengers will only be informed of the existence of the service after boarding the plane,” company spokesman Marina Tymen said.

“Qantas is currently experimenting with use of mobile voice calls on domestic flights and the feedback from clients is not so encouraging as many are complaining of being annoyed by the noise of others,” one air travel consultant was quoted as saying.

The first Air France commercial flight to start e-mail services was a flight from Paris to Warsaw, Poland, Monday and businessmen on board expressed pleasure “to have managed to gain about one hour and a half working time thanks to the new service,” said Tymen.