14/05/2012 05:58 BST | Updated 14/05/2012 05:59 BST

Virgin Atlantic Mobile Technology Allows Passengers To Make Calls And Send Texts In Flight

Passengers on Sir Richard Branson's airline, Virgin Atlantic, will be able to make and receive phone calls while in the air, it was announced on Monday.

Initially available on Airbus A380 flights between New York and London, passengers will also be able to send and receive text messages.

Virgin Atlantic's chief operating officer Steve Griffiths said: "We have listened to what customers want and connectivity in the air is always on the wish list."

The new mobile phone system will be available throughout the aircraft in all cabins and is targeted at business travellers and those seeking to work during flights.

However, the service is not permitted during take-off or landing, and American laws mean that it has to be turned off around 250 miles from US airspace.

It will also eventually feature on the airline's Boeing 747 planes, which are currently going through a £50 million refurbishment.

By the end of 2012, nearly 20 aircraft will provide the service.

The A330 is undergoing a £100 million investment by Virgin, including a redesigned upper class (first class) cabin.