Business Standard

Airtel offers in-flight roaming packages


Bharti Airtel on Thursday introduced in-flight roaming packages that will allow its subscriber­s to use the internet and make online calls during internatio­nal flights for the first time.

Airtel’s partnershi­p with Uk-based Aeromobile, a mobile service provider for the aviation industry, will allow high-speed voice calling for both prepaid and postpaid customers when flying on any of its 19 partner airlines, the company said. This includes Emirates, Etihad, Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines, Turkish Airlines and Cathay Pacific, among others, Aeromobile’s website shows.

The lack of an Indian carrier in the list would mean that the new plans would not work on domestic flights. Airtel’s primary rival Reliance Jio had begun offering inflight connectivi­ty on internatio­nal routes back in 2020, partnering with Aeromobile.

Starting at ~195 for 250 megabytes (MB) of data, the plans include 100 minutes of outgoing calls and 100 SMS with a 24-hour validity. Apart from the entry-level plan, a ~295 plan for 500 MB, and ~595 for 1 gigabyte (GB) was announced. Customers subscribed to roaming packs priced at ~2,997 for prepaid and ~3,999 for postpaid and above will automatica­lly enjoy the in-flight roaming benefit at no additional cost, the company said.

Aeromobile is a subsidiary of Panasonic Avionics Corporatio­n. Aeromobile’s services are available for installati­on either at the point of aircraft manufactur­e (linefit) or on aircraft in service (retrofit) across both Airbus and Boeing aircrafts.

“Airtel has been at the forefront of providing seamless mobile connectivi­ty to customers across the country. Today, we are thrilled to bring the same service onboard a flight through our inflight roaming packs that will allow customers to enjoy high-speed internet and seamless voice calling that will help them stay connected with their loved ones while on a flight,” Amit Tripathi, director, customer experience and marketing, Bharti Airtel, said.*

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