Saudia to provide free WhatsApp, Facebook messaging onboard flights

Monday, September 17, 2018

Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) has launched a new ‘social messaging’ plan to provide all passengers with free access to three applications – iMessage, Facebook Messenger, and WhatsApp.

The texting-only service will be provided to passengers across all the classes onboard all flights that are enabled with wifi connectivity – currently standing at over 100 aircraft, a statement said.

Passengers can access the social messaging plan through a three-step process. To select the service, they can connect their device to the “SAUDIA_ONAIR” network, and then select the plan and provide an email address in order to activate.

Once the social messaging plan is selected, it will be available for the flight duration for a maximum data limit of 10MB.

The carrier claimed it is the “first airline” in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia to introduce a complimentary social media messaging plan onboard flights.

Saudia first introduced introduced the free Whatsapp plan onboard domestic flights on May 5, which expanded to include all international flights less than a month later, on May 31.

So far more than 500,000 passengers have logged on and experienced the free Whatsapp plan, the airline said.

Saudia flies to more than 90 destinations worldwide, with a fleet of 155 Airbus and Boeing aircraft.

The Saudi airline has been restructuring since 2015, with the plan of returning to profitability by 2020.

It carried more than 20 million passengers from the beginning of 2018 until the end of July this year.