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Ethiopian Airlines flies with Wi-Fi

Ethiopian Airlines flies with Wi-Fi

Ethiopian Airlines has availed WI-FI internet connectivity services on ten of its A350 aircrafts in operation.

According to a statement released by the airline, passengers can purchase WI-FI connectivity in cash, credit card, ShebaMiles or through EMDS.

The airline added that EMDS will be issued at the airport, global call centre and ticket offices, and once the EMD number is generated, the status is changed in to 'used' automatically.

In addition to EMD sales, the cash sale will be carried out on board by cabin crew via crew App.

Ethiopian Airlines said that after acquiring the EMDS number, the passenger boards the aircraft and shows his/her number to the cabin crew when it is time to.

"As soon as the crew receive the EMDS number of the passenger, they insert the number on their crew App and check the validity (who brings the EMDS number and verifies the validity of the ticket). The system automatically checks if there is a duplicate utilization of the number and provides the crew with the required information. Having completed all the process for verification, the crew transfer the voucher code based on the passenger's preference. It could be transferred via Bluetooth or verbal and written communication," the airline added.

Payments can be made in two categories - On-board connectivity sales (OCS) and on-board sales ShebaMiles (OCM).

The on-board connectivity sales can have multiple forms of payment like cash, credit card or debit card whereas the on-board sale ShebaMiles is paid by means of deduction from passengers Sheba miles account.

The price per MB in currency and miles is presented as follows:

  • 100MB= 10USD/100MB=4000 miles
  • 200MB=20USD/200MB=8000 miles

Ethiopian Airlines Southern African Regional Manager, Abel Alemu, said: "As we live in a fast-paced world, with the need of reliable technology and wireless connectivity, we have decided to introduce this service for our passengers to make their flights more enjoyable by surfing the net before reaching their desired destination."

In early March ITWeb Africa reported that Ethiopia's ICT market had been identified for its progress by analysts monitoring Africa's ICT and telecommunications landscape.

Mark Walker, Associate Vice President for Sub-Saharan Africa at IDC, said the East African country stands out because its ICT sector grew by 7%, and although the market is relatively small, the growth is significant because it came off a base of just US$2.4-billion.

Despite uncertainty over how investors will repatriate their investment and "move money around", there are opportunities as the countries government and state-owned enterprises look to develop their infrastructure.

"The biggest buyer in Ethiopia is still government ... that is still the most attractive sector within Ethiopia. There has been a lot of investment over the last couple of years, especially out of the Middle East into Ethiopia, with state-owned enterprises like Ethiopia Airlines making the most of the investment they've received for communications infrastructure. There is still a lot of infrastructure work to be done in Ethiopia... a lot of that investment will be infrastructure-led at this stage," said Walker.

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