Qantas will commence trials of its inflight internet connectivity solution from tomorrow, on six of its Airbus A380 aircraft that service Sydney/Melbourne to Los Angeles routes, as reported here back in December (Qantas to trial Inflight Wi-Fi Internet from Feburary 2012) the the OnAir’s solution which piggybacks off of Inmarsat’s SwiftBoadband. Qantas Executive Manager Customer Experience Alison Webster said customers will be able to access the Internet via their Wi-Fi enabled laptops and personal electronic devices, such as iPhones, iPads and BlackBerrys, on Qantas for the first time. “The eight week trial will give customers 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,” Ms Webster said. “Qantas is the first airline in the world to trial this service on direct flights between Australia and the US. “Over the past week Qantas has conducted some preliminary testing and is pleased to now trial the service with customers flying between Australia and Los Angeles.” 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.
Qantas Inflight WiFi Internet connectivity trials will be kicked off on six of its Airbus A380 aircraft from February 2012, the pilot will only be on select flights between Sydney/Los Angeles and Melbourne/Los Angeles, and will allow passengers to access the internet and other online services from Wi-Fi enabled personal devices such as iPads, iPhones, Blackberrys and personal laptops. Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said “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,” Mr Joyce added “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.” Qantas will piggyback off of the OnAir inflight connectivity solution which uses Inmarsat’s SwiftBoadband to transfer data between the from the ground to satellite and then to the passengers aircraft, this solution is already being used by a host of mainly European and Asian airlines, see our Airline In-flight Wi-Fi Internet Connectivity Guide for more information. 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.