Mobile services to take off for Aer Lingus

Airline to offer in-flight wifi and mobile services on transatlantic flights

Aer Lingus has begun offering mobile phone and internet services to passengers on transatlantic flights, the airline confirmed today.

But passengers worried that their flights will be disrupted by noisy conversations at 10,000 feet have nothing to fear; mobile services would be limited to text messages, emails and web browsing on smartphones and tablets, with voice calls barred from its network. Voice over IP applications such as Skype and Viber will also be disabled.

As it currently stands, mobile services will only be available to customers on selected mobile networks, with roaming agreements in place with O2 and Vodafone in Ireland, US network T-Mobile and UK networks Vodafone, O2 and Three. Meteor and Three Ireland have not yet agreed roaming terms with mobile provider Aeromobile.

Aer Lingus has been talking about introducing wifi to its flights since late latest year and has been testing it out on some flights. According to the airline, users will get download speeds of up to 1Mbps and upload speeds of 5Mbps while in the air.


The services are available on A330 flights between Ireland and the US, and also on flights on Aer Lingus’s Malaga route.

"Our aim is to enhance our customers' Aer Lingus experience - this is yet another choice that we're offering to achieve that," said Aer Lingus chief commercial officer Stephen Kavanagh. "Having direct internet access on long haul flights to cities such as New York, Boston, Chicago and San Francisco, will be of huge benefit to our customers, in particular to business customers. Feedback from trials has been extremely positive."

The in-flight services are being provided by Panasonic Avionics Corporation, Aeromobile and Deutsche Telekom.

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien is an Irish Times business and technology journalist