Qantas kills in-flight internet access plans

Qantas kills in-flight internet access plans

Summary: Low uptake of paid in-flight internet access to blame.


Qantas has dumped plans to offer internet access on some of its planes due to lack of demand.

The airline had been trialling Wi-Fi on six AirBus A380 planes for nine months. It was originally offered as a free service with internet delivered via satellite and later, paid packages were introduced to see whether customers would be open to the idea of paying for in-flight internet.

According to Australian Business Traveller, a Qantas spokesperson has said that there was low uptake of the service overall, though customers that used it valued the service.

Virgin America already offers in-flight internet and last year, Virgin Australia signalled that it too wanted to give customers internet access during their flights.

In July, Delta Air Lines flagged plans to introduce Wi-Fi to all its international aircrafts.

Topics: Travel Tech, Broadband, Australia

Spandas Lui

About Spandas Lui

Spandas forayed into tech journalism in 2009 as a fresh university graduate spurring her passion for all things tech. Based in Australia, Spandas covers enterprise and business IT.

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  • Make the cost acceptable and

    .. for long flights the service should be free.

    The service is not costly enough to be a huge lost to the airline and it will be a perk others don't give .... attracting more customers that may otherwise go with other named companies
  • Won't pay for it

    I like the idea of wi-fi on long international flights but definitely won't pay for it. This should be a perk!
  • At what cost

    We don't know how much the airline was charging for inflight data access, but you can bet your bottom dollar that price is what killed it.
  • Satellites are expensive!

    The problem is that most people don't realize how expensive it is to provide Internet access on an airplane, particularly for long-haul flights over water. It's nothing like at your house where you can just hook up a $40 WIFI access point to your cable modem. On a plane you need a $300K satellite antenna (which must go through an expensive FAA certification process). Since the planes fly out of reach of ground based radio signals, expensive satellites must be used. The same goes for cruise ships. Bandwidth on a satellite costs about 1000 times more than via fiber on land.