Lead Text: 
Emirates' service now installed on 31 aircraft, being rolled out to more planes.

Emirates Airlines' in-flight mobile telephone service has clocked up its 100,000th user, confirming a large increase in calls this year.

A total of 31 Emirates passenger aircraft are now installed with the AeroMobile service, the largest of any commercial airline.

The milestone was passed when a Singaporean passenger made a call from 36,000 feet during Emirates flight EK404 from Dubai to Singapore.

More than 350 Emirates short and long haul flights operate weekly with AeroMobile covering services to 49 countries.

The AeroMobile in-flight system allows passengers the choice of using their own mobile phones to make and receive phone calls and text messages from Emirates aircraft, with charges in line with international roaming rates.

The popularity of the service sees more than 30 percent of passengers on each flight taking advantage of the system.

With the first 50,000 users in the first nine months since the system's launch, the second 50,000 have been clocked up in less than two months, the company revealed.

Patrick Brannelly, Emirates' vice president, Passenger Communications and Visual Services, said: "The AeroMobile facility is growing in popularity day by day. The feedback has been excellent, and our passengers are clearly using the system to stay in touch, as we saw with big increases in the number of calls and SMS messages over special occasions such as the New Year period."

The Emirates phone system was launched in March 2008 and engineering staff are now rapidly rolling the system out across the remainder of the Airbus and Boeing fleets.

Usage data from actual flights shows that at peak times, in excess of 100 passengers are switching on their mobile phones during a flight.

Later this year, the AeroMobile system on Emirates aircraft will be upgraded to offer GPRS services. This will enable passengers to send and receive e-mails via devices such as Blackberrys and laptops with GPRS data cards.

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Published Date: 
19 Feb 2009
Article Context: 
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Modified Date: 
Thursday, February 19, 2009 - 16:36
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