Qantas defers inflight Internet trials until 2017

By Chris Chamberlin , November 15 2016
Qantas defers inflight Internet trials until 2017

UPDATE | It'll be at least another few months until Qantas passengers get their first taste of inflight Internet as the airline pushes back public trials of the service until early 2017.

While one Qantas Boeing 737 aircraft has now been kitted out with the technology, the delay allows Qantas and its connectivity partner ViaSat to conduct further testing of the system before opening it up to travellers.

"While we know that customers will want to connect to the WiFi, we really do appreciate their patience while we go through our final testing process," said Qantas’ Head of Customer Experience Phil Capps.

This next round of testing "ensure(s) that, first and foremost, the safety of the installation meets Qantas’ stringent standards, as well as ensuring the system will deliver the level of performance we expect at this stage of the trial," Capps added.

Qantas had previously planned to debut inflight Internet on domestic flights by the end of 2016, with passengers to enjoy free inflight streaming of cricket matches under a partnership with Cricket Australia.

However, the delay now means that airborne travellers will miss the bulk – if not all – of the summer cricket season, which winds down on February 22 2017.

Once public trials of the service do commence in early 2017 aboard one Boeing 737 aircraft, Qantas aims to begin fitting its entire domestic Boeing 737 and Airbus A330 fleets with the tech from the middle of the year, with fleetwide completion due in 2018.

The airline remains in talks with suppliers to bring inflight Internet to its regional (QantasLink) and international fleets, but has no firm plans at this stage.


PREVIOUS, August 24 2016 | Qantas plans to offer inflight Internet access on every aircraft in its domestic fleet and is looking to extend sky-high WiFi across its international network as well.

With a trial to take place on its Boeing 737 and Airbus A330 aircraft towards the end of the year, the Roo will complete the roll-out of inflight WiFi in 2017 and is in the final stages of securing the tech for its QantasLink Boeing 717s and Dash 8s, along with its Network Aviation Fokker 100s.

Passengers flying during the Boeing 737 and Airbus A330 tech trials later this year will be able to watch a live stream of the summer's cricket season under a partnership between Qantas and Cricket Australia.

“A flight from Sydney to Perth should be enough time to catch an entire match of 20/20," Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce says, "and live cricket is just one of the partnerships we are looking at.”

Also on the agenda is inflight Internet across Qantas’ international fleet.

“There are over 200 Qantas aircraft and some complex technical issues to work through… but our plan is to provide Wi-Fi to all our customers as soon as we can, and we’ll be providing more detail after the domestic trial,” Joyce’s speech reads.

Also read: Qantas Boeing 787 to sport "revolutionary" premium economy

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Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller, and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins not just with a single step, but also a strong latte, a theatre ticket, and later in the day, a good gin and tonic.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

22 Apr 2013

Total posts 147

My thought process upon reading this headline:

ABT: Qantas boosts inlfight internet

Me: YAY!

ABT: ...plans live streaming

Me: Wooooooo!

ABT: ...of cricket

Me: ...oh.   :-/

KK
KK

Air China - Phoenix Miles

20 Dec 2012

Total posts 106

Buffering ...

12 Dec 2012

Total posts 994

If they were to allow live streaming, make it something other then sport. >_<

17 Jun 2011

Total posts 66

“A flight from Sydney to Perth should be enough time to catch an entire match of 20/20," Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce says....as long as that game commences upon take off?

31 Mar 2014

Total posts 334

That was my first thought as well. Wonder how many people will refuse to disembark because there is just an over or two left in a tight game

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

18 May 2015

Total posts 43

I assume this does not include the 717 or Dash-8?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

18 May 2015

Total posts 43

Sorry, just reread the article

30 Jul 2015

Total posts 123

really, they are seriously considering the possibility of putting wifi on dash 8's??? 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

29 Nov 2013

Total posts 477

Why not?

They operate a number of sectors of over an hour in length - i.e. QF2018 - 1hr 40mins...

undertheradar Banned
undertheradar Banned

28 Oct 2011

Total posts 662

if it can be done...why not?

30 Jul 2015

Total posts 123

i find it quite surprising 

undertheradar Banned
undertheradar Banned

28 Oct 2011

Total posts 662

not everyone in OZ gets to fly on a 737. shock horrow the non 737 routes have passengers who also would like the connectivity on their flight regardless of flight length :)

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Mar 2014

Total posts 148

This is a great plus for the Fokker 100s and Perth/Darwin based 717s which dont have any entertainment, and usually operate fairly long sectors

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

29 Nov 2013

Total posts 477

The way Australia's playing at the moment you could board your flight from Sydney to Perth and watch the entire test match! 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Jul 2016

Total posts 109

Looking forward to end of 2018!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Oct 2013

Total posts 714

For those interested, the aircraft which has the system installed for the trial will be VH-XZB.

Joe
Joe

03 May 2013

Total posts 517

Why does Qantas assume that all its passengers are obsessed with wine, cricket and rugby?

21 Aug 2015

Total posts 90

QF is so far behind the Top Tier carriers its a joke....................and they charge more for an inferior product. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 May 2013

Total posts 33

Not too bothered with domestic flights but it would be nice, necessary in fact ,to have WiFi on the long treks into London and the US. Ek has it and about time QF came up to speed. 

31 Mar 2014

Total posts 334

Qantas actually trialled this a while ago but there was a very low utilisation. From memory as they were overnight flights, most people wanted to sleep and not use  the internet


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