Qantas leads way with Wi-Fi

Wired in at 35,000 feet … Qantas will unroll connectivity on selected A3380s

Qantas has announced it would commence an inflight connectivity pilot on selected A380 aircraft starting in February next year.

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said Qantas will deploy internet capability on six of its A380s on designated flights between Sydney and Los Angeles and Melbourne and Los Angeles.

“From February next year our customers travelling between Australia and Los Angeles will have the opportunity to participate in our inflight connectivity trial and communicate online from the 35,000 feet,” said Mr Joyce.

“Our customers will be able to access the Internet via their Wi-Fi enabled personal electronic devices, such as iPhones, iPads and BlackBerrys, on Qantas for the first time.”

This will give customers with the opportunity to access the Internet in exactly the same way as a terrestrial Wi-Fi hotspot in which customers can pay with their credit card and surf the Internet, including the use of email.

The connectivity service, provided by OnAir uses Inmarsat’s SwiftBroadband and global satellite based connections to transfer data between the passengers in the aircraft to the ground.

The trial will initially be available to customers travelling in the First and Business cabins and will form part of Qantas’ ongoing strategic evaluation of connectivity options, including the review of next generation technology platforms.

Earlier this year Qantas also announced it would commence a trial in which it will deliver over 200 hours of inflight entertainment options to passengers via iPads provided in each seat of a dedicated B767-300 aircraft.

Customers travelling on the dedicated B767 will also be able to watch Qantas’s in-flight entertainment on their laptop computer, smartphone, tablet or other WIFI enabled device later in the latter part of the trial.

Q Streaming utilises cutting edge wireless technology that enables customers to connect to the Qantas on demand IFE system, with their WIFI devices, providing Qantas customers with a greater variety of choice from a wide range of content.

The trial is set to commence mid January. We are excited and proud to be the first airline worldwide to pilot this ground-breaking technology.

Following the trial, Qantas will assess opportunities for the application of Q Streaming across both the domestic and international fleet.

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