Ryanair, Europe's largest low fares airline, will be fitted with new technology that will allow customers to make calls via their mobile phone mid-flight.
The system will be fitted across the company's entire fleet of more than 200 Boeing 737 aircraft.
Ryanair is the first airline to announce inflight mobile telephony services across its entire fleet of aircraft, to all passengers via their own mobile phones.
From mid-2007, subject to relevant regulatory approval, Ryanair's passengers will be able to call, text and email using their mobile phones and PDAs.
The onboard equipment will connect to the ground network using Inmarsat's forthcoming SwiftBroadband service, of which OnAir is a distribution partner, allowing passengers to make and receive calls, exchange SMS messages and connect to email.
In a separate announcement, Qantas, the leading international airline, has confirmed that it will evaluate an inflight mobile phone solution from AeroMobile. The solution, which also uses Inmarsat's global network, will enable customers to make and receive voice calls, text messages and emails via their own mobile phone or personal electronic device such as a Blackberry. Qantas will test the solution on a Boeing 767 aircraft operating on Australian domestic routes over a 3-month period from mid-2007.