Emirates Mark Decade of Mobile Phone Connectivity on Flights


Dubai-based carrier, Emirates Airline, has promised to continue to excite its customers with innovations as it marked 10 years of enabling mobile phone use on board its aircraft. The company broke fresh ground in March 2008 by becoming the first airline in the world to enable customers make and receive calls, as well as send SMS messages from their mobile phones.

The inaugural phone call was made on March 20, 2008 on Emirates flight EK751 from Dubai to Casablanca. Since then, over 2.8 million calls have been made, 60% of which were made from the aircraft, while over a million calls were answered by passengers travelling on the airline. The longest call recorded was on a flight from Orlando to Dubai on February 5, 2018 lasting 3 hours and 50 minutes. Over the last 10 years, 87 million SMS messages have also been sent or received. The airline company has been at the forefront of innovation with connectivity and in-flight entertainment on board. Besides allowing mobile phone use in-flight since 2008, it was also the first to install TV screens on every seat of every aircraft in its fleet in 1992.

Presently, the airline provides one of the most comprehensive and state-of-the-art entertainment and communications services in the skies which now offers over 3,500 channels of entertainment, including over 700 movies from around the world.
According to the airline operator, it has been investing continuously to provide connectivity and live TV for its customers.
“Over 70% of all our aircraft offer Live TV, including all its Boeing 777-200LR and 777-300ER fleet. Wi-Fi connectivity is available on over 98% of the fleet, including all A380s, 777-300ERs and 777-200LRs. Customers in all cabin classes receive 20MB of free Wi-Fi data, and each month nearly one million passengers connect while inflight, “ the Airline said.

This unmatched variety of content will continue to grow, offering even more choice”.

As part of the company’s expansion move on the Wi-Fi offering on board, its Skywards members enjoy special benefits depending on their membership tier and class of travel, including free Wi-Fi when travelling in First Class or Business Class.