Dubai flights: Now, all Emirates passengers can enjoy free WiFi on board

They simply need to join Emirates Skywards — an easy and complimentary process — in order to stay connected mid-air



by

A Staff Reporter

Published: Fri 19 May 2023, 1:32 PM

Last updated: Sat 20 May 2023, 12:19 AM

Now, all Emirates passengers in every class of travel can enjoy some form of free connectivity once they sign up to Emirates Skywards, the airline announced on Friday.

This was made possible through a recent enhancement to the carrier's inflight connectivity. The development has resulted in an additional 30,000 Economy Class passengers connecting to complimentary onboard Wi-Fi every week.

All Emirates Skywards members in every class of travel can now enjoy some form of free connectivity. Skywards members, whether Blue, Silver, Gold, or Platinum tier, travelling in any class — whether Economy, Premium Economy, Business or First Class — will enjoy free app messaging.

Additionally, First Class passengers will have unlimited free internet if they are Skywards members, enabling them to shop or work online while inflight, as will Silver, Gold and Platinum Skywards members travelling in Business Class. Platinum Skywards members have complimentary internet access in all classes.

The airline has constantly been at the forefront of inflight Wi-Fi developments and has to date invested more than $300 million dollars into onboard connectivity.

New high-speed Internet in 2024

Emirates also announced that it will offer new high-speed, inflight broadband powered by Inmarsat’s GX Aviation, on board 50 new Airbus A350 aircraft — scheduled to enter service in 2024.

The new agreement will significantly improve the passenger experience with enhanced connectivity and greater global coverage, even on flights over the Arctic.

The Airbus A350s will be the first Emirates aircraft to take advantage of Inmarsat’s Global Xpress (GX) satellite network, which powers the world’s first and only globally available broadband network, ensuring passengers can enjoy uninterrupted global connectivity, no matter their destination, including the North Pole.

The advanced high-speed capabilities of the broadband will enable Emirates passengers to stay connected with family and friends, browse the internet, and enjoy social media, all from the comfort of their seat.

Emirates also confirmed an investment of over US$ 350 million to equip a 50-strong fleet of A350s coming in 2024 with enhanced passenger connectivity via Thales’ AVANT Up system and Optiq — the first smart display in the industry to offer two Bluetooth connections, built-in Wi-Fi for passengers to pair multiple devices including phones, tablets, headphones or even game controllers, while supporting up to 60 watts USB-C to fast-charge personal devices.

Passengers simply need to join Emirates Skywards — an easy and complimentary process, in order to access free Wi-Fi.

Those interested can sign up via emirates.com, flydubai.com, through the official Emirates app, or the flydubai app and directly from the Wi-Fi portal onboard. Emirates Skywards has more than 30 million members worldwide, offering unmatched rewards in the air and on-ground including airlines, hotels, car rental, banks and a multitude of retail and lifestyle options.

Over 450,000 users per month

The increase in free connectivity has been well received by Emirates’ passengers following changes in January 2023.

Today, the airline sees an average of 450,000 users per month. This represents a 30 per cent increase of passenger use in 2023 versus the same period last year. Currently, almost 10 per cent of all passengers are utilising the complimentary onboard Wi-Fi.

On routes through the Americas, almost 20 per cent of passengers connect to Wi-Fi onboard, and on European and Africa routes the usage is over 11 per cent of all passengers.

Patrick Brannelly, SVP Retail, IFE and Connectivity commented: "Emirates has persistently worked with our service providers to optimise and improve the connectivity experience. In March we delivered about 55 per cent more data per customer session compared to early 2022 despite the number of sessions increasing by 68 per cent in the same period. We will continue to work to invest in upgrades and enhancements, and our A350 aircraft will arrive with the next generation of satellite connectivity already equipped."

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