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Emirates to allow cell phone use during flights

Emirates Airlines, which is based out of Dubai, announced on Monday that it now intends to allow passengers on the A380 aircraft to be able to use cell phones on the flight.  The Middle Eastern airline’s service, which is run via its Wi-Fi provider OnAir, will however be shut off 250 miles away from the border of the United States as per the continuing ban of the Federal Aviation Administration.

The movement is just the latest technological advancement from the luxury airline that has been allowing a limited degree of cell phone usage for four years now since 2008, USA Today says.  Emirates airplanes are already fitted out with the likes of Wi-Fi and in-seat email, telephone and text message services.

The firm’s development of the newest technology for its passengers is a commitment that is now several decades old, according to their representative Patrick Brannelly.  “Beginning in 1993 with first passenger satellite phone service to last year with our A380 Wi-Fi system, Emirates has always taken the approach that providing the latest in in-flight service and connectivity is a key part of our passengers’ journey,” Brannelly says.

The announcement made by Emirates is noteworthy due to both the size of the airline and the number of flights that it now has outfitted with the service. However, it is also indicative of a much greater move toward in-flight cell capability, with passengers on select Virgin Atlantic flights from London to New York having also been able to use their cell phones since May.