Bringing connectivity into airline operations is the first initiative of the e-Aircraft programOnAir Plug is a new product that provides inflight Internet access for the airline itself over a secure dedicated wireless network. By using OnAir Plug to exchange real-time data between cabin crews and the ground, airlines can optimize their inflight and ground operations.
OnAir Plug is agnostic, neutral and secure: the wireless network can be accessed by any Wi-Fi enabled device and supports all crew member applications.
“OnAir is providing the innovation to allow airlines to exploit connectivity beyond passenger communications. OnAir Plug provides operational real-time data for the cabin crew. This is the first major step in unleashing the full potential of the e-Aircraft,” said Ian Dawkins, CEO of OnAir. “Our strong presence in the inflight connectivity market has given us a very solid platform to be the first mover for connected crews.”
Philippine Airlines is the launch customer for OnAir Plug. It is the first airline in the world to provide mobile phone, Wi-Fi and wireless inflight entertainment for their passengers. The airline now has access to a range of services previously unavailable to the crew. For example, OnAir Plug can connect the airline’s point of sale devices to enable real-time credit card transactions during onboard retail sales.
“OnAir helped us lead the way with our wireless inflight entertainment system. We are very excited about OnAir Plug both in what it will enable us to do in the future and the myriad opportunities it presents us, as an airline keen to leverage the e-Aircraft,” said Ana Leah V. Rodriguez, Head of Marketing and Ancillary Sales, Philippine Airlines.
Dawkins added, “A secure connectivity channel is the first significant step towards enabling a “Nose-to-Tail” communications channel for airline operational needs. When fully realized, the e-Aircraft will provide airlines increased operational control by providing real-time data to improve airlines’ decision-making. Among other e-Aircraft benefits, airlines will have enriched applications that enhance flight, ground and business operations, superior aircraft health monitoring, access to live Electronic Flight Bag data, improved maintenance reporting, and secured data storage. And this is only the beginning.”
OnAir and SITA are working jointly on the e-Aircraft. We have a unique position in the air transport industry that ensures we remain neutral and our solutions offerings remain modular. By providing integrated “Nose-to-Tail” solutions, we are helping airlines experience the entire range of benefits that accompany the e-Aircraft.