Soon, make calls, browse internet on domestic flights as govt gives go-ahead for in-flight Wi-Fi services

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: Mar 02, 2020, 04.42 PM(IST)

File photo of Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport. Photograph:( Others )

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In September 2018, Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan had said that access to in-flight Wi-Fi on domestic and international flights in India would be given soon once the guidelines had been finalised for the same.

The central government on Monday lifted restrictions on in-flight Wi-Fi services paving the way for airlines operating in India to provide in-flight Wi-Fi services to passengers, according to official notification.

"The Pilot-in-Command may permit the access of Internet services by passengers on board an aircraft in flight, through Wi-Fi on board, when a laptop, smartphone, tablet, smartwatch, e-reader or a point of sale device is used in flight mode or aeroplane mode," the notification stated.

While taking the delivery of its first Boeing 787-9 aircraft at Everett on last Friday, Vistara CEO Leslie Thng had told reporters that it would be the first plane in India to provide in-flight Wi-Fi services. 

In September 2018, Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan had said that access to in-flight Wi-Fi on domestic and international flights in India would be given soon once the guidelines had been finalised for the same.

Globally, many airlines are already offering wi-fi for passengers, but they currently have to switch off the facility when they enter the Indian airspace. AirAsia, Air France, British Airways, Egypt Air, Emirates, Air New Zealand, Malaysia Airlines, Qatar Airways and Virgin Atlantic are among 30 airlines that already allow mobile phone use on aircraft.

In-Flight Connectivity (IFC) aims to enable making calls and internet services during flights in the Indian airspace and availability of Wi-Fi is also expected to provide local airlines with an additional source of income. 

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