Emirates Airlines expects to take delivery of an Airbus A380 line-fitted with OnAir’s connectivity and telephone system in the middle of next year as part of a program the carrier launched yesterday with 11 of 19 A380s that were retrofitted with the connectivity system.

“Emirates is continuously introducing the latest advanced technology to its customers for use on board our fleet. Making inflight connectivity available is a value-added service that Emirates customers will highly enjoy; this is particularly true of our A380 fleet, since the aircraft is the epitome of modern airline technology,” says Executive VP-Engineering and Operations Adel Al Redha.

“With the OnAir product on board, Emirates ensures our passengers will enjoy being connected in the sky on our most advanced aircraft.”

OnAir, a joint venture between Airbus and SITA, offers a satellite-based system to provide inflight access to the Internet and telephone services. Users can connect through any Wi-Fi-enabled device.

“Emirates recognizes that being connected in flight is increasingly important, especially on our longer flights. Adding Internet access is going to be a vital and ubiquitous part of any inflight experience, just as it is in everyday life on the ground,” the airline notes, adding that it plans to provide OnAir’s system “across the entire fleet of 71 Emirates A380s on order.”

Emirates, which also operates Boeing 777s, says, “We are obviously delighted to launch OnAir Wi-Fi on our A380 aircraft and we will continue to invest in additional communications products across our entire fleet.”