GATE TO GATE CONNECTIVITY AN INDUSTRY FIRST
(Posted 19th April 2018)
Qatar Airways has earlier today announced that it is the first airline in the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA) to provide gate-to-gate internet connectivity onboard. A decision by Qatar’s Communications Regulatory Authority (CRA) will allow the provision of internet service onboard aircraft at all altitudes. Previously, internet connection was only permitted when an aircraft was higher than 3,000 meters above sea level.
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “In another first for the MENA region, Qatar Airways passengers will be able to enjoy uninterrupted internet connectivity from the moment they step on board a Qatar Airways flight. This is another significant enhancement to our award-winning levels of service that our passengers around the globe have come to appreciate. We look forward to welcoming passengers on board and helping them stay connected throughout the flight.”
Approval by the CRA means that Qatar will be the first country in the Middle East and North Africa region to provide gate-to-gate internet connectivity onboard aircraft. It also reflects CRA’s alignment with Qatar’s high rate of technology adoption across various sectors, particularly those affecting transport and communication that are strategic to Qatar’s future development and economic growth.
Improvements in technology and developments in global technical standards now ensure that on board internet service does not cause harmful interference to either aircraft operations or land-based public mobile networks. However to avoid any interference to aircraft and land-based mobile services, restrictions still apply to the on board use of mobile GSM services and SMS when the aircraft is below 3,000 meters.
While on board, passengers can continue to enjoy Qatar Airways’ in-flight entertainment system, Oryx One, which offers passengers up to 4,000 entertainment options from the latest blockbuster movies, TV box sets, music, games and much more. Passengers flying on Qatar Airways flights served by its B777, B787, A350, A380, and select A320 and A330 aircraft can also stay in touch with their friends and family around the world by using the award-winning airline’s on-board Wi-Fi service.
Qatar Airways operates a modern fleet of more than 200 aircraft to a network of more than 150 key business and leisure destinations across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, North America and South America.
The airline plans a host of exciting new destination launches this year, including London Gatwick and Cardiff, United Kingdom; Tallinn, Estonia; Valletta, Malta; Cebu and Davao, Philippines; Langkawi, Malaysia; Da Nang, Vietnam; Bodrum and Antalya, Turkey; Mykonos, Greece and Málaga, Spain.
The award-winning airline has received a number of recent accolades, including ‘Airline of the Year’ by the prestigious 2017 Skytrax World Airline Awards, held at the Paris Air Show. This is the fourth time that Qatar Airways has been given this global recognition as the world’s best airline. In addition to being voted Best Airline by travellers from around the world, Qatar’s national carrier also won a raft of other major awards at the ceremony, including ‘Best Airline in the Middle East,’ ‘World’s Best Business Class’ and ‘World’s Best First Class Airline Lounge.’
Meanwhile has #IATA awarded Qatar Airways with a special recognition for being not only the first airline in the world to undergo the now mandatory IOSA certification on a voluntary basis but for having passed every additional safety audit by IATA since 2003.
Qatar Airways Senior Vice President Group Safety and Security, Mr. Ashish Jain, said: "We are delighted to receive this special award that recognises our contribution to the success of the IOSA programme. We were the first airline audited under the program in 2003, and we remain committed to the ideals that it promotes in the aviation industry. It is vital that IOSA is universally embraced as the global benchmark, aviation safety and security compliance standard. I especially thank my colleagues who have maintained our unblemished safety and security record throughout the 15 years of IOSA, and we acknowledge them at this conference.”
The IOSA programme was introduced to enable airlines to review their safety processes using a worldwide standard that has become the single internationally-accepted safety and security audit process for airlines. Under IOSA, accredited auditors assess an airline’s operational management and control systems, including the areas of corporate organisation and management, flight operations, operational control, flight dispatch, aircraft engineering and maintenance, cabin operations, aircraft ground handling, cargo operations and operational security.
Qatar Airways flies daily between Doha and Entebbe / Uganda and on to Kigali but also serves Nairobi, Kilimanjaro, Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar in the Eastern African region.