IAF Ground The Entire Fleet of MiG-21 Fighter Jets

Radhika Bansal

23 May 2023

The Indian Air Force (IAF) has grounded the entire fleet of MiG-21 fighter aircraft till the checks are carried out and investigations into the reasons behind the crash over Rajasthan earlier this month are ascertained. Three people lost their lives in the crash when a MiG-21 Bison aircraft airborne from the Suratgarh air base crashed over Hanumangarh in a village on May 8.

"The MiG-21 fleet has been grounded till the investigations are carried out and reasons for the crash are ascertained," senior defence officials said.

The MiG-21 aircraft variants started getting inducted into the Indian Air Force over five decades and are on the verge of being phased out. There are only three MiG-21 squadrons with a total of around 50 aircraft operating in the IAF and all of them will be phased out by the early part of 2025.

When it met with an accident, the fighter jet that crashed over Rajasthan was on a routine training sortie. The pilot suffered minor injuries after which an inquiry had been launched to probe the exact cause of the crash.

The IAF has 31 combat aircraft squadrons including three of the MiG-21 Bison variant. The MIG-21 was inducted into the IAF in the 1960s, and 800 fighter variants have been in service to boost its overall combat prowess.

History of the Deadly Aircraft

The Soviet-origin aircraft has played a significant role in the Indian Air Force's operations for the past 60 years, participating in various missions including the 1971 Bangladesh war, the 1999 Kargil conflict, and the recent air duel following the Balakot airstrike.

However, considering the tragic event and the need for safety, the IAF hasdecidedn to ground its remaining MiG-21 fleet. A spate of crashes, many of them fatal, prompted the Indian Air Force last year to announce that it will phase out the MiG-21 Bisons by 2025, having ostensibly been unable to do sotoo maintain an adequate number of combat aircraft in service. 

The IAF retired MiG-21 Bisons at the Srinagar-based No. 51 squadron, which is also known as “Sword Arms,” last September. Of the 874 MiG-21s inducted, more than 60% were licence-produced in India. The officials said that more MiG-21s have crashed than any other fighter because they formed the bulk of the fighter aircraft in the IAF’s inventory for a long time. IAF has had to keep its MiG-21 fleet flying longer than it would have liked because of the delay in the induction of new fighters.

The aircraft has gained unfortunate monikers like the "widow-maker" or the "flying coffin" due to a history of accidents since its induction into the IAF in the 1960s. With over 400 MiG-21 crashes in the last 60 years, the toll includes the lives of more than 200 pilots and 60 civilians.

The planes have been grounded at a time when most of the military’s advanced light helicopters (ALHs) are also grounded for comprehensive checks after a string of recent incidents including the crash-landing of an army helicopter in Jammu & Kashmir’s Kishtwar on May 4 in which a soldier was killed, and two pilots were injured. The Army, IAF, Navy, and Coast Guard operate more than 330 ALHs.

Future Fighter Jets For IAF

The crash rate of the MiG-21 has been a cause of concern in recent times as many of them have met with accidents. The IAF is also looking at the induction of indigenous aircraft including the LCA Mark 1A and LCA Mark 2 along with the Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft.

In February 2021, the government sealed a Rs 48,000 crore deal with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) to procure 83 Tejas jets. The IAF has already procured 36 Rafale jets to enhance its combat capabilities. The Air Force is also in the process of acquiring 114 Medium Role Fighter Aircraft (MRFA).

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Ryanair Records Major 2022 Profit Despite Q4 Loss

Abhishek Nayar

23 May 2023

Despite a poor fourth-quarter performance and escalating operational costs, Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair generated a near-record profit of €1.43 billion ($1.54 billion) in 2022. This financial success can be attributed to an array of factors, including stable demand, rising fares, expansion into emerging markets, and smart cost-cutting methods.

Slow Q4 Performance and Escalating operational costs

Ryanair had a slow fourth quarter, which hampered its financial performance. The Christmas season and increasing travel demand make the fourth quarter of the fiscal year critical for airlines. However, bad weather conditions, labor issues, and supply chain delays all had an impact on Ryanair's operations and earnings during this time. Furthermore, the airline faced soaring operational costs, particularly due to rising fuel prices, maintenance expenditures, and increased personnel compensation. These cost constraints put a strain on Ryanair's profitability, necessitating the adoption of effective countermeasures.

Current Situation

Despite a less-than-favorable fourth quarter that reduced profits by €154 million ($166 million), robust demand throughout the year allowed the carrier to record a net profit of €1.43 billion, its first post-pandemic profit and nearly three times greater than 2019. During the 12-month period, operational costs shot up by 75%; nevertheless, hedged fuel reserves allowed the budget airline to cushion certain losses. The carrier has hedged 85% of its fuel for the coming fiscal year at $89 per barrel, which is lower than the carrier's initial forecast of 50% at $92/BBL but about $20 more than hedged reserves in FY22/23. To account for the airline's continually increasing fleet, the overall fuel bill for FY23/24 is likely to rise by at least €1 billion ($1.1 billion). Fares have increased alongside operational costs, jumping 10% from pre-COVID levels, yet demand for low-cost travel remains strong. Ryanair's traffic climbed 74% year on year, reaching 168.6 million, a 13% rise over 2019. The load factor remained high at 93% at the end of the fiscal year.

Moving into the upcoming fiscal year, Ryanair remains cautious about expansion, aiming for a 10% rise in passenger volume to around 185 million. The objective may be altered, though, to account for Boeing's 737 MAX supply delays. In a statement released on Monday, Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary stated, "We are cautiously optimistic that FY24 revenue will grow sufficiently to cover our €1 billion higher fuel bill while still delivering a modest year-on-year profit increase." This forecast is still significantly reliant on avoiding adverse outcomes in FY24." This summer, the airline will operate its most comprehensive schedule ever, with up to 3,000 daily flights across 2,500 itineraries. In preparation, the airline has extensively invested in bolstering its operations side to avoid disruption, expanding the capacity of its operations centres, raising staff ratios, and strengthening customer communications. Ryanair has already reopened two pre-pandemic bases in Tenerife (TFS) and Lanzarote (ACE), bringing 520 weekly flights and 120 highly skilled jobs to its schedule. The carrier's major hub at Dublin Airport (DUB) will also witness tremendous growth, with over 130 destinations and 2,000 weekly flights available.

Factors Contributing to Ryanair's Profitability

Consistent Demand

Despite the difficulties encountered during the fourth quarter, Ryanair was able to maintain continuous demand for its services. The airline's broad route network, along with its reputation for inexpensive tickets, drew a continuous stream of customers. This continuous demand helped to counterbalance the negative impact of the poor Q4 and contributed to the airline's overall profitability.

Soaring Fares

Ryanair purposefully reduced their rates in order to capitalize on high demand in certain markets. The airline was able to boost ticket prices and improve revenue per passenger by introducing dynamic pricing methods and optimizing its revenue management systems. This elevated trend in fares was critical to improving Ryanair's financial performance.

Expansion into new markets

Ryanair's adherence to expanding into new markets also helped the company be profitable. The airline found unexplored markets and carefully developed flights to serve them. Ryanair was able to attract additional customers while increasing its market share by expanding its network, boosting its revenues.

Cost Reduction Strategies

Ryanair employed a variety of cost-cutting techniques to offset the impact of escalating operating expenses. These included fuel hedging to mitigate fuel price volatility, negotiating favorable supplier agreements, optimizing fleet utilization, and reducing operational operations. These methods aided the airline in achieving cost savings and improving its bottom-line.

Ryanair's Business Model Analysis

The success of Ryanair can be attributed to its distinctive low-cost business strategy. The airline strives to reduce expenses while increasing operational efficiency. Ryanair minimises superfluous expenditures and provides consumers with low-cost tickets by using a no-frills strategy. Ryanair generates substantial ancillary revenue in addition to ticket sales through a variety of sources. These include costs for extra services, including luggage, priority boarding, and in-flight purchases. Ancillary income sources have become an important component of Ryanair's business strategy, considerably contributing to its profitability. Ryanair also has a strong fleet and route optimization strategy. The airline selects its routes carefully in order to maximize demand and profitability. It constantly assesses its fleet requirements and looks for ways to improve operating efficiency while lowering costs and increasing income possibilities.

Ryanair Faces Difficulties

Despite its outstanding financial success, Ryanair faces a number of operational issues. The increasing rivalry between other airlines, particularly in the low-cost market, is a big problem. Ryanair must constantly innovate and differentiate itself to attract and keep consumers in order to remain competitive. Ryanair faces additional hurdles due to the regulatory environment. Compliance with different rules and norms, such as those pertaining to safety, security, and passenger rights, complicates and increases the expense of the airline's operations. Staying up-to-date on regulatory developments and putting relevant precautions in place is critical to Ryanair's sustained success. Furthermore, fuel price volatility is a persistent concern for Ryanair and the whole aviation industry. Fuel price fluctuations have an influence on the airline's operational expenditures and profitability. Ryanair uses fuel hedging measures to limit this risk, but the possibility of unanticipated price surges remains a worry.

Ryanair's Prospects for the Future

Ryanair's future prospects are optimistic, given its financial stability and strong business strategy. The airline is continuing to look for fresh development and expansion possibilities in both existing and new markets. Ryanair hopes to recruit a bigger client base and achieve additional revenue development by carefully targeting neglected regions and increasing its route network. Furthermore, Ryanair is committed to alleviating operational issues through investments in technology and infrastructure. Adoption of innovative technology and procedures will increase operational efficiency, save costs, and enhance the entire customer experience.


Despite a slow fourth quarter and escalating operating expenses, Ryanair managed to produce an astounding €1.43 billion profit in 2022. Consistent demand, rising rates, growth into new countries, and smart cost-cutting methods all contributed to the airline's financial success. Ryanair's low-cost business strategy, auxiliary income streams, and fleet optimization methods have all proven to be profitable. Despite ongoing hurdles such as increased competition, regulatory complexity, and fuel price volatility, Ryanair's future outlook remains optimistic. Ryanair is well-positioned to handle obstacles and preserve its position as a leading low-cost carrier, thanks to a focus on expansion and continual improvement.

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Air Europa to Cancel More Than 100 Flights Amidst Pilot Strike

Abhishek Nayar

23 May 2023

In recent news, Air Europa, a prominent airline, finds itself grappling with a series of pilot strikes that have disrupted the airline's operations. With eight further pilot strikes set between May 22nd and June 2nd, the airline has been forced to cancel 114 flights. These strikes were initiated by the Sindacato de Pilotos de Espana (SEPLA) union, which was further responsible for a four-day walkout earlier this month that resulted in the cancellation of 68 flights.

Background Information about Air Europa

Air Europa was founded in 1986 and has steadily expanded its fleet and flying itineraries throughout the years. With a concentration on both local and international routes, the airline has become a popular alternative for both domestic and international travellers in and out of Spain. Air Europa's dedication to safety, comfort, and efficiency has led to the airline's success.

The SEPLA Union and its Function

The Sindacato de Pilotos de Espana (SEPLA) union represents a significant percentage of Air Europa pilots. SEPLA, as a representative organization, seeks to safeguard its members' rights and interests by ensuring fair treatment and favorable workplace conditions. SEPLA negotiates with Air Europa management on employment contracts, salary, working hours, and other labor-related issues through collective bargaining.

Current Scenario

Air Europa, a subsidiary of the Globalia Group, has served as a major airline in Spain for several decades. The airline has a reputation for reliability and customer satisfaction owing to its extensive flight network and excellent customer service. Recent pilot strikes, however, have put a strain on its operations, posing issues for both the company and its passengers. The SELPA union represents Air Europa pilots. According to SEPLA, the pilots worked with the airline during their COVID-19 furloughs. However, the management is now seeking profits by hiking ticket prices by 54% in the last year and continuing to impose cutbacks on employee working conditions. Furthermore, SEPLA accuses the airline's management of ignoring labor and salary demands, heightening the possibility of additional strikes in the following months. The union has also filed a complaint with the Ministry of Transportation over this matter. Furthermore, the union highlighted worries about the airline outsourcing services, which might result in harsher working conditions and further reductions in wages.

Because peak summer travel is about to commence, the Ministry of Transport has established minimum service requirements at this juncture. Domestic flights servicing the Spanish cities of Madrid, Bilbao, Palma de Mallorca, Malaga, Vigo, and Barcelona, on the other hand, will be impacted. Some international flights will also be impacted, including those to Rome-Fiumicino, Milan-Malpensa, Paris-Orly, Porto, and Lisbon. If the union plans more strikes, there might be severe operational disruptions in the following months, including disrupting customers travel during the peak summer season. Because Air Europa is situated in the European Union, it will be subject to the EU261 passenger protection statute, which permits consumers to seek compensation from airlines in the case of delays or cancellations. Yes, travelers are entitled to compensation if their flights are cancelled due to airline personnel strikes. However, certain requirements must be satisfied for passengers to be eligible, and the amount of compensation available depends on the circumstances.  While airline personnel going on strike is a qualifying case, customers would not qualify if a delay or cancellation was caused by airport staff or baggage handlers going on strike because this was beyond the airline's control. Furthermore, this regulation only protects passengers who have a verified full-fare ticket or tickets redeemed from a frequent flyer programme.

The Financial Ramifications

The cancellation of numerous flights due to strikes places Air Europa in financial compromise. Not only does the airline lose revenue from ticket sales, but it also incurs additional costs in terms of paying impacted customers, resolving consumer complaints, and establishing contingency plans. These financial responsibilities pose a serious threat to the company's overall profitability.

Customer Dissatisfaction

Flight cancellations due to pilot strikes frequently cause irritation and discomfort for passengers. Passengers' travel plans are disturbed, resulting in missed connections, rescheduling issues, and significant financial losses. This poor experience may lead to a decrease in consumer loyalty and satisfaction, thereby impacting Air Europa's reputation in the long run.

Reputational Damage

Repeated pilot strikes and accompanying flight cancellations have harmed Air Europa's reputation. Passengers may see the airline as untrustworthy or disorganized, resulting in a loss of faith in the brand. Rebuilding the damaged reputation will require major efforts on the part of Air Europa to demonstrate increased dependability and successfully address consumer complaints.

Potential Solutions

Finding common ground and agreeing on the pilots' requests is critical to resolving the disagreement. Air Europa management must carefully analyze the pilots' complaints and propose potential solutions that address these concerns while balancing the company's operational and financial restrictions. Moving ahead will require open communication, honesty, and compromise.

Long-term Ramifications

The long-term impact of the pilot strikes on Air Europa's reputation and financial health is unknown. It might have an impact on the airline's expansion objectives, collaborations with other airlines, and passenger trust. To recover from this difficult moment, Air Europa must win the trust of both its staff and customers via better communication, improved working conditions, and great service.


Air Europa's prolonged pilot strikes have interrupted travel arrangements and caused issues for both the airline and its customers. SEPLA's demands for better working conditions, job security, and fair treatment prompted these strikes, resulting in financial losses for Air Europa and passenger displeasure. Finding a solution that meets the needs of both the pilots and the airline's management is critical to restoring stability and rebuilding the airline's image. To ensure a sustainable future during this difficult time, Air Europa must prioritize open communication, negotiation, and compromise.

With Inputs from Aviacion Line, Aviation24

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AAI Back In The Black With INR 3,400 Crore Profit In Fiscal 2022-23

Radhika Bansal

22 May 2023

Airports Authority of India (AAI) is back in the black, raking in a profit of INR 3,400 crore in the fiscal year that ended March as surging domestic air traffic boosted its financial performance, according to a source. AAI has reported a profit for the first time after the coronavirus pandemic that had significantly impacted air traffic and the aviation sector as a whole.

In the financial years -- 2021-22 and 2020-21 -- AAI reported a loss. While the loss was INR 803.72 crore in the fiscal year ending March 2022, the same stood at INR 3,176.12 crore in the financial year ending March 2021. These figures excluded exceptional and extraordinary items and taxes.

AAI has recorded a profit of INR 3,400 crore for the 2022-23 financial year. This is a provisional figure; the final figure will be known after the audit of the financial results. The source also said the good performance was mainly due to the high growth in domestic air traffic.

The surge in Air Traffic

In 2022, domestic air passenger traffic surged 47.05% to 12.32 crore compared to 8.38 crore in the year-ago period. Further, the passenger numbers soared 51.70% to 3.75 crore in the first three months of this year as against 2.47 crore in the same period a year ago, as per official data. In 2021-22, AAI had a meagre profit of INR 8.76 crore, including exceptional items and tax. This surge in domestic air travel has undeniably played a pivotal role in AAI's financial renaissance.

Meanwhile, in the fiscal ended in March 2022, the government waived the compulsory dividend payment requirement. AAI had requested the waiver instead of waiving Air India's which was done before the government’s sale of the loss-making carrier to the Tata Group in January 2022. This decision further eased the financial burden on AAI and allowed the authority to focus on its recovery and growth initiatives.

About Airports Authority of India

The Airports Authority of India, or AAI, is a Statutory body under the ownership of the Ministry of Civil AviationGovernment of India. It is responsible for creating, upgrading, maintaining, and managing civil aviation infrastructure in India. It provides Communication Navigation Surveillance/Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM) services over the Indian airspace and adjoining oceanic areas. AAI currently manages a total of 137 airports, including 34 international airports, 10 Customs Airports, 81 domestic airports, and 23 Civil enclaves at Defence airfields. AAI also has ground installations at all airports and 25 other locations to ensure the safety of aircraft operations. 

AAI covers all major air routes over the Indian landmass via 29 Radar installations at 11 locations along with 700 VOR/DVOR installations co-located with Distance Measuring Equipment (DME). 52 runways are provided with Instrument landing system (ILS) installations with Night Landing Facilities at most of these airports and an Automatic Message Switching System at 15 Airports. It also provides Air Traffic Management Services (ATMS) over the entire Indian airspace and adjoining oceanic areas.

AAI is also implementing the GAGAN project in technological collaboration with the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). The navigation signals thus received from the GPS will be augmented to achieve the navigational requirement of aircraft. The first phase of the technology demonstration system was completed in February 2008.

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Fokker Looking to Develop Next-Generation Hydrogen Powered Aircraft

Abhishek Nayar

22 May 2023

Air travel has revolutionized the way we explore the world, but it has additionally brought about concerns pertaining to the environment owing to carbon emissions. Fokker, a Dutch aircraft manufacturer, is stepping up to the challenge of mitigating climate change while advocating sustainability in the aviation sector. With the goal of flying over 2,500 kilometers (1,550 miles) without emitting any carbon emissions, Fokker hopes to usher in a new era of 'Green Flying' with its next-generation aircraft.

Present Situation

The manufacturer aspires to develop an adaptable and versatile next-generation aircraft that will operate on a mix of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and kerosene, as well as eco-friendly designs, sustainable manufacturing, natural light, and reduced noise pollution. Rooftop panels will be installed in an improved cabin, providing a novel approach to minimizing the likelihood of jet lag and enhancing passenger comfort. The current design aims to differentiate Fokker from its competitors by giving it a futuristic appearance. Fokker will initially convert its popular Fokker 100 aircraft, which is one of the company's most popular and light-weight designs. The aircraft will be upgraded to run on liquid hydrogen fuel and will be able to use SAF. The current aircraft is already being designed and transformed. The Dutch government has contributed EU 250 million ($270 million) to the project through the National Growth Fund, in addition to a European Commission Clear Aviation grant and further improvements from engine partner Rolls-Royce. As stated in the next-generation vision, Fokkers' mission is to promote and establish a future where air travel is clean, renewable, and sustainable: "We foresee a world in which air travel is powered by a variety of clean, renewable energy sources. Our objective is to lower the world's carbon footprint and hasten the transition to a more sustainable future. We are committed to being a leader in the design and manufacture of environmentally friendly aircraft, collaborating closely with engine and technology partners to develop cutting-edge, sustainably driven commercial aircraft. We will alter the way people travel together, making the ideal of a greener, more connected world a reality for future generations."

Fokker's Green Flying Vision

Innovations in Sustainable Aviation

The aviation sector is undergoing a paradigm shift towards sustainability, with a renewed emphasis on lowering carbon emissions. Fokker recognizes the need for change and envisions an ecologically responsible future for aviation transport. Fokker is committed to paving the way for developing carbon-efficient aircraft with low ecological impact by utilizing technological developments and innovative solutions.

The Need for Carbon-Efficient Aircraft

The need to lower carbon emissions across all industries has been underscored by the urgency of addressing climate change. Because the aviation industry contributes significantly to greenhouse gas emissions, it must take proactive actions to reduce its environmental impact. Fokker's goal of developing a next-generation aircraft with zero carbon emissions demonstrates its commitment to establishing a more sustainable aviation sector.

Development of Next-Generation Aircraft

Design that is Adaptable and Versatile

The next-generation Fokker aircraft will be adaptive and versatile, catering to a wide range of flying requirements. This aircraft seeks to provide efficient yet environmentally sustainable travel solutions for short-haul regional excursions as well as long-haul intercontinental journeys. Fokker seeks to enhance fuel economy and minimize carbon emissions by optimizing its aerodynamics, weight distribution, and propulsion systems.

Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) and Kerosene Blend

The use of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) in conjunction with kerosene is a crucial component of Fokker's green flying efforts. When compared to standard jet fuels, SAF is obtained from renewable sources such as plant-based feedstocks and waste materials, resulting in much lower carbon emissions. Fokker's next-generation aircraft will run on a blend of SAF and kerosene, minimizing its carbon footprint while contributing to a more sustainable aviation industry.

Eco-Friendly Design Elements

The dedication to sustainability at Fokker extends to the design of their next-generation aircraft. The aircraft would include eco-friendly characteristics such as lightweight materials, sophisticated composite structures, and efficient engine systems. These design characteristics not only enhance fuel efficiency but also lower the total ecological impact of aircraft manufacturing and operation.

Practices for Sustainable Manufacturing

Fokker intends to use sustainable manufacturing practices for its next-generation aircraft, in addition to eco-friendly designs. This includes reducing waste, optimizing the consumption of energy, and incorporating recycling and circular economy concepts throughout the production process. Fokker seeks to create new benchmarks for environmentally conscious aircraft production by embracing sustainable practices.

Fokker's Next-Generation Aircraft's Environmental Impact

Carbon Emission Reductions

Fokker's next-generation aircraft will considerably contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the aviation sector by emitting no carbon during flight. This ground-breaking technology complements worldwide efforts to battle climate change and transition to a more sustainable future. Fokker's aircraft's carbon emission reductions will be critical in lessening the environmental effect of air travel.

Climate Change Mitigation

Climate change is a major worldwide concern, and the aviation sector has responsibility for reducing its contribution to it. Fokker's next-generation aircraft offers a positive step forward, providing a credible alternative to reducing carbon emissions in air travel. Fokker is pushing positive change and establishing an example for other aircraft manufacturers to follow by pioneering green flying.

The Future of Green Aviation

Fokker's ambitious project to create a next-generation aircraft that emits no carbon emissions is a big step forward in the goal of sustainable aviation. As more manufacturers adopt environmentally friendly technology and practices, the future of green flying appears bright. Fokker is positioned to revolutionize the aviation sector and lead the path for a cleaner future by prioritizing environmental sustainability without sacrificing performance or passenger satisfaction.


Fokker's commitment to developing a next-generation aircraft that emits no carbon emissions demonstrates its dedication to sustainability. Fokker is leading the way towards green flying with a combination of revolutionary design, renewable aviation fuel, eco-friendly features, and decreased noise pollution. Fokker's next-generation aircraft demonstrates the possibility of a more sustainable aviation industry by addressing the environmental effects of air travel. Looking ahead, it is critical that additional manufacturers join this trend, working together to cut carbon emissions and build a greener, more ecologically conscious aviation sector.

With Inputs from Fokker Next Gen

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Emirates to Now Offer Free Connectivity Onboard All Flights

Abhishek Nayar

22 May 2023

In the modern era of technology, staying connected when travelling has become an imperative rather than a luxury. Recognizing this, Emirates has recently made substantial improvements to its in-flight connectivity, ensuring that all passengers, regardless of class of travel, may now enjoy the benefit of complimentary connectivity provided they sign up for Emirates Skywards. This improvement has been well embraced, with an additional 30,000 Economy Class passengers connecting to complimentary onboard Wi-Fi on a weekly basis.

Overview of Emirates' Enhanced In-Flight Connectivity

Emirates has long been at the forefront of offering passengers a seamless travel experience. The airline has taken another step towards ensuring passengers can stay connected even at 40,000 feet by recently improving its in-flight connectivity. This enhancement includes an array of connectivity options, allowing travellers to access the internet, converse with loved ones, work, or simply occupy themselves throughout their journey. "Emirates has consistently worked with our service providers to optimize and improve the connectivity experience," said Patrick Brannelly, SVP Retail, IFE, and Connectivity. In March, we sent around 55% more data per customer session than in early 2022, despite the fact that the number of sessions increased by 68% during the same period. We will continue to invest in updates and additions, and our A350 aircraft will be outfitted with the next generation of satellite communication."

Present Situation

Emirates has consistently been at the forefront of in-flight Wi-Fi improvements, having invested more than $300 million in onboard connectivity to date. All Emirates Skywards members in every category of travel can now take advantage of some type of complimentary connection. Skywards members, whether Blue, Silver, Gold, or Platinum tier, travelling in any class, Economy, Premium Economy, Business, or First Class, can enjoy free app messaging. Additionally, First Class passengers who are Skywards members are entitled to unrestricted internet access for free, allowing them to buy or work online while in flight, as are Silver, Gold, and Platinum Skywards members travelling in Business Class. Platinum Skywards members enjoy complimentary internet access in all classes. Following adjustments in January 2023, Emirates' passengers have responded well, with the airline now seeing an average of 450,000 users every month. This indicates a 30% increase in passenger utilization over the same period last year, in 2023. Currently, about 10% of all passengers use the complimentary onboard Wi-Fi. On trips across the Americas, about 20% of passengers connect to Wi-Fi aboard, while over 11% of all passengers connect on routes through Europe and Africa.

Benefits of the Enhancement

Free Connectivity for All Emirates Passengers

One of the most noticeable benefits of this upgrade is that it provides free connectivity to all Emirates passengers. If you become a member of Emirates Skywards, you can now enjoy complimentary onboard Wi-Fi, whether you are flying in Economy, Business, or First Class. This is a big shift in the business since formerly complimentary Wi-Fi was sometimes restricted to specific classes or frequent flyer programmes.

Increased Access for Economy Class Passengers

The improvement has helped Economy Class passengers in particular, who now have more access to complimentary onboard Wi-Fi. Previously, these travelers had few alternatives for remaining connected, which might be irritating on long-haul trips. However, with this new advancement, Emirates has closed the gap and given all passengers an equal opportunity to experience the convenience of in-flight connectivity.

How to Join Emirates Skywards

Signing up with Emirates Skywards is a quick and easy procedure. Passengers may establish their Skywards account by visiting the Emirates website or using the mobile app. They will get access to a variety of services, including complimentary onboard Wi-Fi, after they have enrolled. Emirates Skywards also provides extra benefits, such as the ability to earn and redeem miles for flights, upgrades, and other prizes, making it a desirable loyalty programme for regular travellers.

Available Connectivity Types

Complimentary Onboard Wi-Fi

Emirates' enhancement includes complimentary onboard Wi-Fi for every passenger. This means that once you have signed up for Emirates Skywards, you'll have unlimited internet access throughout your journey at no extra cost. Whether you need to check your emails, browse the web, or remain connected on social media, in-flight Wi-Fi keeps you connected and lets you make the most of your time aboard.

Additional Paid Connectivity Options

In addition to the complimentary onboard Wi-Fi, Emirates provides paid connectivity alternatives to passengers who require more bandwidth or have more stringent connectivity requirements. Individuals who rely extensively on internet connectivity for work or who demand quicker bandwidth for streaming high-definition material would benefit from these solutions. Emirates ensures that all passengers may adapt their in-flight experience to their particular needs by offering both complimentary and premium connection options.


Emirates' newest enhancement to its in-flight connection marks an important milestone in the aviation sector. Emirates has proven its commitment to offering an extraordinary travel experience by providing free Wi-Fi to all passengers and increasing access for Economy Class travellers. This innovation enables passengers to stay connected, productive, and entertained during their flight, providing a more gratifying and delightful travel experience.

With Inputs from Emirates