Virgin Atlantic is to offer passengers a chance to use their own mobile phones during flights, following a link up with Panasonic-owned AeroMobile.
Passengers flying on the carrier’s A330 service from London-to New York will be able to make calls initially, with as many as 20 planes fitted with the technology by the end of 2012.
However, only six people at any one time will be able to make calls, all of whom must be customers of European carriers Vodafone and O2 or the US carrier T-Mobile.
No word was offered on Virgin Mobile users.
Phones will still have to be turned of during take-off and landing, Virgin Atlantic confirmed.
“Many people will have experienced that moment when you’re about to take off on a ten-hour flight and you need to send an important message to the office, or even reminding a family member to feed the cat,” Virgin Atlantic chief operating officer Steve Griffiths said.
“It is also quite fun to call home and say, ‘Guess where I am’ – not many people would think you’re travelling at 35,000ft above the Atlantic Ocean.”
Phone calls will not be free – passengers will be charged what they usually pay for international roaming calls.