December 23, 2010, Moscow. JSC Aeroflot Russian Airlines, Russia’s biggest air carrier, and JSC MegaFon, the universal communications operator, announce the introduction of cell phone services on flights. On December 24, 2010 Aeroflot is starting regular flights of the first aircraft in Russia with MegaFon on-board base stations. MegaFon subscribers can use the new service free of charge till January 31, 2011.
The medium-haul Airbus A321 Msticlav Keldysh operating on domestic flights as well as carrying passengers to several European countries is the first Aeroflot aircraft with an on-board base station. Currently Aeroflot passengers can enjoy mobile GPRS Internet, SMS and MMS services. Next year Aeroflot is planning to introduce the new service on other aircraft including the transcontinental Airbus A330 flights (more than 5000 km long).
According to Vitali Saveliev, the head of Aeroflot Airlines, ’Aeroflot has chosen innovative development as its main direction of work. Aeroflot maintains leadership in introducing innovation technologies, which increase business effectiveness; make it easier to use air transport, making it more convenient and accessible. Being a high-tech company Aeroflot relies on the implementation of information technologies in every sphere of production and commercial activity as a powerful tool for the improvement of the quality of customer service and economic efficiency’.
Sergey Soldatenkov, the MegaFon CEO, commented on the launch of the project , ‘Considering the high air traffic intensity on international and domestic routes we believe mobile telecommunications on board of aircraft to be a promising trend in the development of the Russian mobile telecommunications industry. This project has always been our priority as in-flight data transmission and other mobile services are in high demand with our corporate clients and individual subscribers. MegaFon is the first Russian operator to introduce mobile services on board an aircraft and I believe other telecommunications operators will follow the lead’.
Compliance with safety requirements in passenger air transport is the critical condition for the new service provision. In accordance with the Russian legislative requirements, all equipment facilitating passengers’ free access to telecommunications will be operated at the altitudes of over 3000 meters. The on-flight mobile communications services will be free for the subscribers of MegaFon until the end of January 2011; the operator will publish its tariffs on the new service before the end of the validity period of the special offer.
Aeroflot is a leading air transport company in Russia as well as a member of SkyTeam, a global airline alliance. The cumulative network of routes comprises 898 destinations in 169 countries of the world. In 2009 Aeroflot transported 8.755 ml people while the Aeroflot Group of Companies transported 11.1 ml.
Aeroflot came first among European members of SkyTeam in the quality of its passenger service in economy class on short and medium range flights and in business class on long haul flights. The leadership of Aeroflot was established based on the SkyTeam Onboard Survey over the period of April – September 2009.
Aeroflot is one of the 25 leading world airlines in terms of financial and economic activity in 2009 (operating and net profit), according to the Air Transport World magazine.
Aeroflot was the first Russian carrier to enter the IOSA registry and has kept up the standard ever since. The airline has been successfully audited in terms of its compliance with the ISAGO safety requirements for ground operations. The company complies with ISO 9001:2000.
Aeroflot has one of the youngest aircraft fleets in Europe comprising 100 planes. Aeroflot headquarters are in Moscow in Sheremetyevo International Airport. For more information see www.aeroflot.ru.
JSC MegaFon is the all-Russian universal communications operator running its business in all segments of the telecommunications market. MegaFon was established in May 2002. MegaFon has become the first and the only operator with a network covering all regions of Russia. The Company and its subsidiaries have all the required licenses and operate in all the Russian regions and the Republic of Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Tajikistan. MegaFon was the first in Russia to launch 3G for commercial operations and is currently Top 1 in the segment of mobile Internet, and Top 2 as to the number of active subscribers in Russia.
Having acquired the Synterra Group of Companies, one of Russia’s leading backbone operators, in June 2010, MegaFon entered the market of fixed-line communication for government and corporate clients as well as the fixed Broadband market. The combined infrastructure of MegaFon and Synterra is present in all Russian regions, forming the basis for GSM 900/1800, 3G, VSAT, IP/MPLS, NLD/ILD networks, data and call processing centers connected to all players of the telecommunications market.
In 2009, MegaFon became the General Partner of the XXII Winter Olympic Games and XI Paralympic Games in Sochi in 2014.
As of June 30, 2010, the principal shareholders of MegaFon were companies of AF Telecom Holding group, the TeliaSonera (Stockholm: TLSN.ST - news) group and the Altimo telecommunications investment company.
You can find additional information by contacting:
The Call Center of JSC Aeroflot Russian Airlines
Tel./Fax (495) 752-90-71
Tel. (499) 500-73-87
Tatyana Ivanovna, Press Secretary of JSC MegaFon
Tel. +7 495 980 1970; +7 926 442 5246