Skift Take

The app is nifty, but they had us at "free."

Saudia has introduced a mobile app which simplifies access to its free in-flight OnAir Wi-Fi connection.

“Our new app makes it as simple as possible for passengers to access the Internet,” says Mr. Abdulrahman H Alfahad, VP Marketing & Product Management at Saudia. “We know just how much passengers value being in touch on email and social media. We like to keep Saudi Arabia’s 7.8 million Facebook users connected when they fly.”

The app, an industry first, lets passengers scan the bar code printed on their boarding pass and then displays a special access code for the OnAir connectivity portal on international flights operated by Saudia’s fleet of A330s and B777-300s. Thus, passengers won’t need to enter personal details.

As Saudia reports: “Saudi Arabians are the most prolific users of the Internet via their smartphones in the Middle East,” with a smartphone penetration rate of 72.8%, which makes it one of the world’s top three countries. In 2014, 35,000 of SAUDIA’s passengers accessed the free Wi-Fi onboard and the airline expects a greater uptake with the introduction of this app.

“More and more airlines are providing free Wi-Fi as an integral part of the passenger experience,” says Ian Dawkins, CEO of SITA OnAir. “This is the right response to passenger demand. Airlines are developing new and innovative ways to differentiate their connectivity, particularly since Wi-Fi and mobile phone services become commoditized in the air, as they already are on the ground.”


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Tags: in-flight, saudia airlines, wi-fi

Photo credit: Images of Saudia's new in-flight app. Saudia

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