AeroMobile Chips In With New Payment Benefits For Airlines


Hamburg – Tuesday, March 31, 2009: AeroMobile, the award-winning in-flight mobile communications provider, is to revolutionise credit card payments for airlines and passengers by bringing “chip-and-pin” to the sky.

Airlines are currently restricted to using old-fashioned swipe machines to process credit card payments for duty-free goods bought in-flight. With existing systems it is not possible to access the ground-based retailers to verify payments.

But now the AeroMobile system can be used to securely conduct credit checks in-flight, transforming in-flight transactions for both retailers and customers.

AeroMobile is currently best known for leading the way with in-flight passenger communications, the world’s first to provide technology and services that allow mobile phone use onboard.

The UK-based company is rolling out a new suite of value added services to both airlines and passengers.

Peter Tuggey, AeroMobile’s chief commercial officer, said: “Credit card fraud is notoriously high for onboard duty-free sales as airlines aren’t able to access payment networks to authorise the transactions.

“However, AeroMobile can now offer a solution by allowing airlines to make secure transactions through its system. Cabin crew will simply be able to use the same sort of hand-held credit card machines so often used in restaurants on the ground.

“We will be trialling this system with our existing customers and talking to duty free providers, as this is a benefit that brings real value to both airlines and passengers.”

Another innovation being unveiled by AeroMobile at this week’s Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg is the introduction of a mobile friendly internet portal, giving passengers access to key information on their destination.

The service will allow passengers to click through a WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) web page from their phone, giving them instant access to information on weather forecasts, currency exchange rates and other destination information.

Peter Tuggey said: “The introduction of our WAP page is another value-added service we can provide to airlines and their passengers as the take-up of our service grows around the world.”

About AeroMobile

AeroMobile Limited is a UK-based company which is majority owned by Telenor ASA. Since 2003, it has been pursuing the objective of developing the safe use of passengers own mobile phones and PDAs in response to market demands.

AeroMobile is the first in-flight mobile technology to be commercially available and first flew in June 2005 on Boeing’s 777-200LR ‘Worldliner’ demonstrator aircraft. It was subsequently trialled with Qantas on over 1,000 domestic Australian flights in 2007, when GSM text messaging and GPRS data services were offered to its passengers.

In March 2008, the AeroMobile system made possible the first authorised in-flight calls on a commercial flight with launch customer Emirates. Since that time, over 160,000 Emirates passengers have used AeroMobile, and it is now available on 32 aircraft – a quarter of the airline’s fleet.

AeroMobile is also in service with Malaysia Airlines, and will be rolled out on V Australia aircraft later this year.

AeroMobile is teamed with Panasonic Avionics Corporation, the Panasonic’s market-leading in-flight entertainment (IFE) systems provider, to offer the AeroMobile aircraft technology under the eXPhone brand as an integral part of Panasonic’s IFE systems. The AeroMobile system uses existing Inmarsat satellite communications systems installed on commercial aircraft, and these will be upgraded at the earliest opportunity to Inmarsat’s latest SwiftBroadband service providing further features and capabilities such as GPRS mobile data services

In September 2008, AeroMobile won the “Best Achievement in Technology 2008” award from the World Airline Entertainment Association (WAEA).

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