Ryanair's mobile service goes dead, customers disconnected
When a telecommunications company is offered upwards of 70 million potential customers, you'd expect hollering, cheering, bubbles and perhaps some celebratory yankee doodle in the boardroom after hours. Not so at OnAir, the providers for Ryanair's in-flight mobile service - they've cancelled their contract with the Skymarshall after just 13 months.
The service had been initially fitted in 50 planes across the Ryanair fleet; the deal came unstuck when Ryanair wanted to roll out the service to all aircraft - over 230 of them. According to OnAir, "the two companies did not reach a mutual agreement on the process and timing leading to the full deployment." Ryanair commented that it "regrets OnAir were unwilling to commit... but was pleased with the performance of the OnAir system and the rapidly growing call/text and data volumes."
Some market analysts are suggesting the financial investment required by OnAir to deploy their services to the whole fleet may have outweighed the residual returns in the short-term. Then again, OnAir counts Air Asia and British Airways amongst its clients - it can certainly handle the big boys, so perhaps it was an issue with the timetable and terms demanded by Ryanair. For now, Ryanair passengers will have to do without their £1.50 a minute phone-calls and 40p texts.