Qantas ramps up inflight Internet ahead of September launch

Qantas ramps up inflight Internet ahead of September launch

Qantas expects to move its inflight WiFi service out of the current 'beta' trial mode in September this year, at which point it plans to have ten Boeing 737 jets fitted with the latest satellite tech.

The airline says that when properly launched, its Qantas WiFi service "will offer faster speeds and improved reliability" compared to what's already on offer in the trial program.

What travellers won't notice will be any change to the pricing, with inflight Internet remaining free for all passengers.

AusBT review: Qantas WiFi inflight Internet

However, plans to kit out an Airbus A330 for east-west Internet have been pushed back from the previous mid-year timeline, a Qantas spokesperson tells Australian Business Traveller.

"We are focusing on the 737s for now and we will turn our attention to the A330s later this year."

It's also looking less and less likely that the tech will be seen on the QantasLink Boeing 717 jets – some of which will be rostered onto weekend flights between Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane from August 2017 – or their Fokker 100 and Bombardier Dash 8 siblings.

The results from the trial period to date indicate download speeds routinely topping 12Mbps, which is faster than most home or office ADSL2+ broadband connections, with the most popular usage times being mornings and evenings, particularly on the Sydney-Melbourne route.

Qantas says that a third of passengers on its WiFi-equipped jet are logging on, with email and Web browsing – particularly visiting news websites – the most popular activities, followed by social media (where Facebook takes the lead over Twitter and Instagram), streaming video and music, and messaging services such as WhatsApp.

Qantas' 80-strong domestic Boeing 737 and A330 fleet is expected to be upgraded by late 2018, with the airline also considering extending the service to international flights – although its factory-fresh Boeing 787s won't be delivered with WiFi on board.

Qantas began its inflight Internet trials in April, alongside rival Virgin Australia, with the challenger also currently running this as a free trial service.

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.
 

7 comments

  • kimshep

    kimshep

    4 Jul, 2017 11:32 am

    EXCELLENT news!

    In light of my previous comments on this subject, many thanks to ausbt for keeping us up to date with a timely and useful article. Well done, David.

    Member who gave thanks

    israelhenriques

  • GBRGB

    GBRGB

    4 Jul, 2017 04:10 pm

    I hope it works for them, getting a bit tired of sitting there trying to get Q streaming to work and the being advised it is out of action again.
    No member give thanks

  • markpk

    markpk

    4 Jul, 2017 07:56 pm

    Really? I've never had a problem with Q Streaming - it remembers what show i was watching if it didn't finish and loads and plays perfectly everytime I've used it.

    I think Q Streaming is one of the best innovations from Qantas. 
    No member give thanks

  • moa999

    moa999

    5 Jul, 2017 12:24 am

    Equally never an issue with QStreaming
    Member who gave thanks

    israelhenriques

  • smidavi

    smidavi

    5 Jul, 2017 11:35 am

    I moved on from Qantas some time ago. Yay.  

    Member who gave thanks

    mviy

  • blart

    blart

    9 Jul, 2017 09:26 am

    I agree. It's a great service and it works as well as Netflix or Plex does on the ground - which most in-seat technology does not. Great to see the airlines not trying to keep up on the screen and software tech that goes in the seat which is always worse that your own device you can bring on board.

    I've been using qstreaming twice a week since launch (assuming my weekly flight has it) and I've not had an issue. 
    No member give thanks

  • worldwanderer

    worldwanderer

    10 Jul, 2017 03:59 pm

    While I'm sure plenty would be wanting the delivery fast-tracked, glad to see they are taking the time to get the product right and rolling it out in a logical fashion and continuing to openly offer it as a free service; not hedging their bets like Virgin - "free for a trial period then charging". 
    No member give thanks

Guest

22 May, 2019 01:20 am

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