Airline to fly with SMS messages

One airline hopes to make it easier for inflight passengers to communicate electronically.

SINGAPORE -- One airline hopes to make it easier for inflight passengers to communicate electronically. Starting July, select Singapore Airlines flights will allow text messages to be sent via Short Messaging Service (SMS) to mobile phone users around the world. An LCD panel and handset fitted to a passenger's seat will be the mode of communications. To compose a message, users can either use the handset's numeric keypad or the touch screen monitor.

Indian firm Unimobile will act as the messaging broker between Singapore Airlines and 400 mobile phone operators in 130 countries. The application which powers the service was developed by Bothell, Washington-based Matsushita Avionics Systems.