Virgin Atlantic will let passengers use mobile phones for calls during flights.
According to The Telegraph, the service will be available on flights from London to New York in an Airbus A330 initially with the aim to expand to 17 planes on at least 10 routes by the end of the year. In-flight access will be provided by AeroMobile.
The cost will apparently be the same as normal roaming charges. However, due to limited bandwidth, only a small amount of line will be available simultaneously.
“Only basic web access is possible, using the GPRS service, but AeroMobile is working on upgrades for future services.” said The Telegraph.
In-flight calls are part of a £100 million upgrade which Virgin is doing on its Upper Class cabin, which involves things like USB ports for charging personal gadgets and improved touchscreen entertainment.
Airlines including Emirates, Lufthansa and Qantas already offer AeroMobile in-flight, but Virgin Atlantic will be the first UK firm to do so.
Steve Griffiths, chief operating officer at Virgin Atlantic said: “[We are] actively looking at what customers want, rather than simply installing technology,”
“We need to make sure users actually make use of a service so that it’s commercially sensible for us to invest.”