Qantas, Virgin Australia swing WiFi focus onto A330s

By David Flynn, July 10 2018

While Qantas and Virgin Australia continue to expand their WiFi-equipped Boeing 737 fleet, both airlines are also stepping up the rollout of inflight Internet onto their larger twin-aisle Airbus A330 jets.

By the middle of 2019, all domestic Qantas A330s plus domestic and international A330 flights by Virgin Australia will let travellers stay connected above the clouds.

Qantas has earmarked a dozen of its A330s to be fitted with the same fast and free WiFi service as its workhorse Boeing 737s, with the first expected to take wing later this month and all 12 flying by early 2019.

Read the Australian Business Traveller review of Qantas WiFi 

The move will be welcomed by passengers on the transcontinental flights, which are largely the domain of the Airbus A330-200s for the 4-5 hour cross-country trek. 

While the airline currently has no plans to bring international WiFi to its international A330-300 jets, when a domestic A330-200 is rostered onto an international route such as to Asia, WiFi will be available to the tip of the Northern Territory and Queensland.

Virgin Australia will begin installing WiFi on its own Airbus A330s from the beginning of 2019, with CEO John Borghetti telling media on board last week's inaugural Sydney-Hong Kong flight that he expects all six A330s to be upgraded by the middle of 2019.

At the time of writing this will see four of Virgin's A330s offering WiFi on east-west flights, with the other two providing inflight Internet to passengers on the Sydney-Hong Kong and Melbourne-Hong Kong routes.

Virgin Australia already has inflight WiFi on all five of its Boeing 777s which cover the trans-Pacific routes from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane to Los Angeles.

Review: Virgin Australia's Boeing 777 inflight Internet

David
David

David Flynn

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

mviy

mviy

05 May 2016

Total posts 522

This is certainly a big change. I think I've only had one QF flight with in-flight Wi-Fi so far, but I'm sure that'll change as the chances of being on a plane with on-board Wi-Fi go up.

reeves35

reeves35

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 512

Does this mean Qantas is planning to have a sub-fleet of 6 A332s that only fly internationally? It has 18 A330-200s but is only installing SkyMuster WiFi on 12.

Grannular

Grannular

31 Mar 2014

Total posts 287

I would assume those 6 without SkyMuster would be the same that are being converted to an international config with an extra toilet in J and additional galley space. They are easy to spot. Showing 27 seats in J with one seat being replaced by the additional toilet.

https://www.qantas.com/content/dam/qantas/pdfs/qantas-experience/at-the-airport/seat-maps/qantas-seat-map-332-27J224Yv4-july.pdf

Chris2304

Chris2304

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Apr 2013

Total posts 386

Yes that’s correct.

These 6 A330s below will be used on international flights and will be known as A330-200D


VH-EBS

VH-EBR

VH-EBQ

VH-EBO

VH-EBP

VH-EBV

Ryan K

Ryan K

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

30 May 2013

Total posts 291

Any word on the timeline/progress of the refurb program of the two un-refurbished international A330-200's VH-EBL and VH-EBG? The economy and business product on these two aircraft is nothing short of a disgrace by 2018 standards.

Chris2304

Chris2304

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Apr 2013

Total posts 386

one will be refurbished this year, another in 2019

moa999

moa999

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Jul 2011

Total posts 1372

The business seats on EBG/EBL I agree. The economy seats I believe will simply get a recover and the IFE removed and replaced with WiFi holder and USB port.

Given QF has now chosen to wait for the ViaSat Ka satellites for the Longhaul aircraft I wonder whether they couldn't install Ka aerial now and at least provide service over the Australian mainland until the new satellites are launched


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