Qantas to roll out wi-fi on international flights

Source: Qantas

Qantas will be rolling out wi-fi on its international flights later in 2024, expanding on its existing domestic offering.

The “fast and free” Qantas wi-fi service will be progressively switched on from the end of the year on the airline’s fleet of international aircraft.

TND understands the expansion of Qantas’ wi-fi service was held up until global satellite technology was able to deliver comparable connection quality to what is offered on domestic routes.

Passengers travelling within Australia have already been able to make the most of Qantas’ wi-fi while in the air.

The service was first made available in 2017.

How will the Qantas wi-fi work?

All passengers will be able to access the in-flight wi-fi for free on Qantas’ A330, 787 and A380 aircraft.

It is understood the airline is confident every passenger will be able to enjoy a fast and consistent connection while on a flight, with speeds higher than existing international in-flight services.

The service is thanks to global broadband provider Viasat, and while heading overseas customers will be able stream content and keep up to date with the latest news and live sports.

A photo taken on August 20, 2023 shows the wing-tip of a Qantas Airbus A330 descending to land at Sydney´s Kingsford Smith Airport.

The ‘fast and free’ international wi-fi will eventually be available on all international routes. Photo: Getty

When is the Qantas retrofit happening?

It is expected the first A330-200LR aircraft, which has the registration VH-EBN, will be fitted with the latest Viasat antenna this week.

It will mark the beginning of Qantas’s retrofit program for its international fleet.

The installation, done by a team of engineers, takes about three weeks and is happening at the maintenance hangar in Brisbane.

The installation of antennas on all eight of the airline’s A330-200LR aircraft is expected to be completed by the end of 2024. Those planes fly to Asia and the US.

In 2025, installation programs on the airline’s B787, A380 and A330-300s will begin.

There are also new aircraft on order, including A350 and B787 fleets and when they are delivered they will already have wi-fi capabilities.

Additionally in the coming months, Qantas’ VH-EBN will have the service enabled on international flights to Asia when travelling over Australia.

By the end of the year, customers will be able to use wi-fi on the entire duration of the international flight, when Viasat’s south-east Asia network is expanded.

The news was first reported by The Australian, who spoke with Qantas executive manager for product and service Phil Capps.

“We’ve seen wi-fi for our customers on domestic flights just being part of the everyday, so it’s a fundamental expectation that it will be there and that they will use it in all sorts of diverse ways,” Capps said.

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