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Mid-Air Mobiles? NZ Business Happy To Switch Off

Mid-Air Mobiles? New Zealand Business Happy To Switch Off

New Zealand business travellers are happy to be able to leave their mobile phones switched off when flying, despite moves in Europe to extend their reach to aircraft in mid-flight, according to corporate travel specialist FCm Travel Solutions.

Two European airlines are to trial a mid-air mobile phone service this year, but FCm Travel Solutions said there was no clamour from New Zealand corporates to join them.

FCm Travel Solutions General Manager Christian Casbolt said feedback from the company’s customers from both sides of the Tasman had been largely against mobiles in the air.

“It seems most of our clients are just fine with cellphones staying off, with many happy to avoid a constant multitude of rings and loud phone conversations in the air.”

Mr Casbolt said privacy would also be an issue for business people speaking on mobiles when there may be a competitor eavesdropping nearby.

Mr Casbolt’s comments are supported by the results of a recent SKYTRAX survey in 76 nations, which found that 89 per cent of air travellers do not want mobiles on planes, rising to 93 per cent among the over 50s.

British carrier BMI (formerly British Midland Airlines Ltd.) and TAP-Air Portugal have announced their intention to be among the world's first to offer in-flight mobile phone services, which are currently banned on existing aircraft for fear of interference with aircraft radio navigation systems.

They would use a new system of on-board base stations, which is said to dramatically reduce the electronic output from mobile phones, rendering them safe to use on board.

Cabin staff would be able to de-activate the system during times of rest, however there is also a concern that use of phones in-flight could spark “air rage” incidents.

© Scoop Media

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