Qantas to trial in-flight internet

Not to be outdone by Virgin, Qantas has today announced that it will enable in-flight internet access for passengers travelling on its flagship A380 aircraft.

Not to be outdone by Virgin, Qantas has today announced that it will enable in-flight internet access for passengers travelling on its flagship A380 aircraft.

Qantas

(Qantas B737-800 VH-VXU image by
Andy Mitchell, CC BY-SA 2.0)

The trial, starting from February next year, will see in-flight internet delivered to passengers over Wi-Fi on "designated flights" between Sydney to Los Angeles and Melbourne to Los Angeles routes.

Passengers with a Wi-Fi-enabled device like a smartphone, laptop or tablet will be able to access the trial, but only if they're sitting in first or business class.

The A380s will access the web through an on-board satellite system built by Inmarsat. The Inmarsat unit will be connected to the web via the OnAir satellite service.

The trial of in-flight internet is being run in tandem with the trial of in-flight entertainment streaming via Wi-Fi on the carrier's kitted-out Boeing B767 aircraft. Passengers on the flight will receive a complimentary iPad in-flight to use the service.

The trial of the Q Streaming system will kick off in mid January.

Qantas' nemesis, Virgin Australia, yesterday announced its plans to deploy in-flight entertainment streaming via Wi-Fi in a partnership with Lufthansa Systems.