Emirates in its recent statement said that Facebook, Google, Skype and Whatsapp came out top as the most frequently used applications on its in-flight Wi-Fi service. Emirates, UAE's airline company, has been offering in-flight data service for passengers on board its aircrafts via Wi-Fi that allows them to access mobile Internet service throughout their flight.
According to Emirates, its Wi-Fi service is currently available on 106 of its aircrafts - covering all of its A380s and nearly half of its fleet. The Wi-Fi service that brings direct access to Internet adds to the existing connectivity services the airline has been providing its passengers including in-seat email, telephone and SMS services. The airline is continuously upgrading its fleet with enhanced connectivity, with two to three aircrafts being installed with Wi-Fi connectivity every month.
On its Wi-Fi service, the airlines is offering the first 10MB data for free, and is charging $US1 for every additional 500MB of data, thereafter. With the data charging model which was introduced last October, Emirates has seen a near fivefold increase in usage of in-flight data consumption. According to Emirates, it has also seen a further 25% increase in the uptake after updating the service in early February with a simpler sign-on process on top of other software updates.
The passengers' use of the popular social media applications and also OTT services for making calls and messaging reflect travellers’ strong desire to stay connected on the move and their preference for using social media channels for doing so.