Ryanair, the Budget Airline which operates 181 aircraft on 729 routes across Europe and North Africa from its 31 bases is allowing mobile phones within its European services. O2 is the first to be confirmed to provide the service with costs that will be 10 times higher than average international mobile phone tariffs. Meteor and 3 are also in talks with Ryanair to provide in-flight mobile phone services. Reports suggest that Vodafone Ireland decided not to offer the service to consumers amid concerns over cost.
The technology has been installed in around 20 Dublin based aircraft and is likely to be implemented across the remainder of Ryanair’s fleet during the next 18 months.
Michael O'Leary, the CEO at Ryanair said the success of the mobile phone service might pave the way for the introduction of in-flight gambling within a few years. In the past Ryanair has tried introducing such services, but it has been unsuccessful due to the lack of a suitable payment system.