Air New Zealand has announced that it will offer mobile phone and data services, provided by Vodafone and OnAir, on its new domestic Airbus A320.
The first mobile-enabled flight will take off within the next month, the airline says. The service won't be available on other Air New Zealand aircraft.
Passengers' mobile phone signals will be routed through an aircraft cell site. The service will be available during the cruise phase of flights. Inflight roaming costs will apply, at 80c per outbound text, $3.50 per minute to make a call, $2.00 per minute to receive a call and $20 per megabyte of data. Labour IT spokesperson Clare Curran has described the cost as being "a bit excessive" on her blog.
The Airbus A320 aircraft makes its first commercial flights today.
Cellphone use, through Telecom's XT service, has been permitted on some incoming international flights to New Zealand by Emirates and Air Malaysia since last year.