Etihad’s fleet of Boeing 777 aircraft is now fully-equipped with mobile phone and Internet connectivity, allowing passengers in economy, business and first class to catch up on work, emails or to stay in touch with family and friends while in the air.
A number of the airline’s other aircraft are also kitted out with the fetchingly-named ‘Etihad Wi-Fly’ service – including select Airbus A340s serving between Abu Dhabi and both Sydney and Melbourne, plus a number of A330s that run from Perth and Brisbane to Abu Dhabi, with the latter stopping via Singapore.
By the year’s end, all of Etihad’s 89 passenger aircraft will offer travellers in-flight connectivity, ranging from mobile phone calls through to live satellite television and of course, broadband Internet.
Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways’ Chief Commercial Officer, said that “on-board connectivity is an important competitive differentiator for our guests”, and that it will provide “a seamless, robust experience at 35,000 feet, similar to what (travellers) expect at home or work.”
Etihad’s aircraft come with both Ethernet ports and wi-fi, enabling passengers to use their smartphones, tablets and laptops with the on-board Internet system, while mobile phones can also be used to make and receive phone-calls, send and receive text messages and emails, and use mobile data services.
While Etihad’s inflight Internet is generally quite reliable, the service isn’t available when flying in certain airspace – although the connection portal will estimate how long you have left until leaving an Internet-friendly zone if there’s a known black spot.
Guests can watch live news and major sporting events across seven satellite television channels including BBC World News, CNBC, CNN, Euronews, Japan’s NHK World Premium, Sky News Arabia, and Sport 24.
In June, Sport 24’s feed of all 64 FIFA World Cup matches allowed Etihad passengers to watch the latest from Brazil – including frequent flyer Bernard Ching on EY461 from Melbourne to Abu Dhabi:
Australian Business Traveller also tested Etihad’s satellite television hook-up on a recent trip to Hamburg (as a guest of Etihad), where the CNN feed was both watchable and without interruption.
Etihad Airways’ Boeing 777 aircraft fly from both Sydney and Melbourne to Abu Dhabi, and then onwards to destinations such as Los Angeles, Washington DC, London, Manchester, Dublin, Düsseldorf, Paris, São Paulo, Bangkok and Jakarta.
Read our review: Etihad’s inflight Internet
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