Aircraft passengers over Britain will be able to use their mobile phones in the air for the first time next year.
Passengers flying out of Heathrow with BMI should be able to make and receive calls, as well as send and receive emails and text messages, on flights within the UK and Europe. The service will be trialled once regulatory issues have been decided.
"Our research tells us that our premium passengers have two key concerns: getting quickly through the airport, and the ability to carry on working during their journey," said BMI chief executive Nigel Turner.
"We are sure that many travellers will welcome this expansion of their ability to keep in touch while in the air.
"This trial will guide us on usage patterns and some of the social issues in using mobile phones on aircraft, and will help us to confirm the business case for rolling the service out across the remainder of the fleet."
The equipment to allow calls will be installed on BMI's Airbus A320 and, if the trials are successful, will be rolled out across the whole fleet.
But the expected demand for mobile calls in the air may not be as strong as thought, according to research carried out in April by the Association of Flight Attendants. Over two thirds of those questioned would want 'non-phone' sections of an aircraft.
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