Air France will let passengers use mobile telephones even while flying from September - but only in Europe.
The airline will allow the use of GSM-based cellular phones on its Airbus fleet after getting approval from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). GSM is a digital wireless mobile telephony system widely used in the world.
The approval is the first of its kind. Officials of Airbus claim this could open similar services for flights in other countries.
"It's the first time anywhere in the world that a system has been authorised and confirmed for the safe operation of phones and BlackBerry-type devices (a wireless messaging solution for professionals always on the move) on aircraft," Graham Lake, chief commercial officer of OnAir, said at the Paris Air Show this week.
OnAir, a joint venture between Airbus and airline IT group Sita, received a go-ahead from the European Aviation Safety Agency Monday to begin fitting equipment on commercial jets, reported online edition of New Scientist.