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TAP launches new in-flight cell phone service

24th July 2008 Print
TAP has launched its first commercial test of in-flight cell phone use. This system offered by OnAir – a company specializing in SITA and Airbus mobile communications – enables TAP passengers to make or receive voice calls, send text and e-mail messages using their own cell phones.

To access these services customers only need to have a standard international roaming agreement with their original operator.

TAP is one of the pioneering companies and the first in the Star Alliance to offer Mobile OnAir to its customers. This service is available on an A319 aircraft, the CS-TTL “Almeida Garrett” flying on medium-haul routes and which yesterday made its first flight between Lisbon and Munich already equipped with this sophisticated mobile network. TAP passengers traveling on this aircraft to one of the Company’s medium-haul destinations will be able to access this new option during the next six months, the duration of this commercial testing period.

The new system onboard the TAP aircraft was entirely installed by the Company’s Maintenance & Engineering teams.

Conceived by Airbus and certified by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) this technology consists of the installation onboard of an advanced local GSM network inside the aircraft with very low transmitting power. This enables cell phone use with maximum safety and without interfering with navigation systems when the aircraft reaches cruising altitude – above 4 thousand meters - via air-to-land and land-to-air connections supported by satellite communication channels.