Emirates is set to launch in-flight Internet on its Australian Airbus A380 services, with the airline confirming sky-high surfing as a drawcard for its new Melbourne-Dubai A380 route which starts on October 2.
The move follows Emirates' satellite Internet partner OnAir "gaining authorisation to enact WiFi within Australian airspace", the airline said, "providing several additional hours of connectivity between Dubai and Australia."
Although Emirates launched inflight Internet in May this year, the airline had to disable the system while in Australian airspace.
The A380s' wireless Internet will also run during the trans-Tasman leg of the Sydney and Melbourne flights, delivering business travellers on Australia's most popular 'international' route an added productivity boost as they cross the pond.
Prices range from US$7.50 to US$25.
The cheapest plan gives you 5MB of data for US$7.50, and is mainly aimed at the BlackBerry set due to the Berry's highly-efficient email compression.
US$15 gets you a mobile plan with 25MB of data, which is better suited to iPhones and Android smartphones as well as casual tablet use.
The top US$25 plan is aimed at 'heavy users' wanting to chew up 100MB in flight on their laptop or tablet.
Emirates and OnAir offer together some interesting stats regarding their experience with sky-high surfing.
- 52% of people logging onto Emirates' in-flight Internet do so with a smartphone, while 48% use a tablet or laptop
- average data consumption per user is slightly below 20MB
- the bulk of usage is focused on social media, news and travel related sites (such as hotel, taxi and restaurant bookings)
- passengers typically use the Internet during the first half of the flight
- the time of the flight has a significant impact, with 73% of usage being during the daytime
- the length of the flight also has an impact, with 84% of usage on flights of over three hours
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About David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.