02.04.2002Corporate

Verizon Airfone and CBS News to Keep Air Travelers Abreast of Breaking News

NEW YORK -- Passengers aboard all domestic commercial aircraft equipped with Verizon Airfone in-flight telephone service now can stay plugged in to breaking news through a new service offered by Airfone and CBS News.


Every hour, the latest news compiled by CBS will be available over the Airfone service. A free, scrolling headline on the Airfone handset will highlight the hour's most important story. By selecting the "CBS" option on the Airfone handset, passengers can listen to a detailed three-minute newscast for $4.99. Headlines may change more often when there is breaking news and travelers will be able to listen to these updates as well.


"Whether it's America's fight against terrorism, the stock market, or other topics of high interest, today's news is breaking fast and furiously," said Harvey Nagler, vice president, CBS News Radio. "Now travelers using Airfone can be in touch with the latest events during their flights."


"CBS News is a trusted and respected name around the world, and we're pleased to offer its continuously updated reports through our in-flight telephone service," said Bill Pallone, president -- Verizon Airfone. "This is yet another way we can offer a range of useful services -- from voice to data to information services -- over our network in the sky."


The news service is transmitted through an automated telephone application developed and hosted by XO Communications.


Airfone's domestic commercial airline partners include United, Continental, Delta, USAirways, American, Midwest Express and Air Wisconsin.


CBS Radio News is heard by more than 26 million Americans weekly on more than 500 radio stations throughout the United States with up-to-the-minute information in the form of hourly newscasts, instant coverage of breaking stories, special reports, updates, features, customized reports and newsfeeds. Among its many features are, "The World News Roundup" and "The World News Roundup -- Late Edition," the longest-running news presentation in the history of broadcasting. Harvey Nagler is Vice President, CBS News Radio and Constance Lloyd is General Manager.


Verizon Airfone, a subsidiary of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ), began offering commercial service in 1985, with the introduction of the first cordless air-to-ground telephone system. The first seatback telephone was installed by Airfone in 1987, and the company deployed a nationwide, end-to-end digital system starting in 1993. Currently, 62 percent of U.S.-based commercial passenger aircraft are installed with Airfone service. Airfone's airline partners include: Air Wisconsin Airlines; American Airlines; Continental Airlines; Delta Air Lines; Midwest Express Airlines; United Airlines; USAirways; AeroMexico; Air Canada; Air Nova; Bell Mobility; Mexicana Airlines; Air France, Alitalia; All Nippon Airways; British Airways; Cathay Pacific Airways; China Southern Airways; Crossair; Lufthansa; Thai Airways; Turkish Airlines; and Varig.


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