Virgin Australia: WiFi on trans-Tasman flights from early 2018

By David Flynn, November 27 2017

EXCLUSIVE | Virgin Australia will serve up inflight Internet on flights between Australia and New Zealand from early 2018 as it rushes to leapfrog Qantas in rolling out WiFi on international routes.

Virgin's flights between Australia and Los Angeles will also begin offering WiFi from December, further bolstering the airline's appeal to overseas business travellers who want to stay connected above the clouds.

A spokesperson for Virgin Australia confirmed to Australian Business Traveller the rollout of  "inflight WiFi on flights to and from New Zealand and other destinations on our short-haul international network, from early in 2018."

The airline aims to have half of its international Boeing 737 fleet kitted out with the high-speed Gogo 2Ku / Optus satellite system before the end of March 2018, with the remainder completed "before the end of September 2018".

In addition to the busy trans-Tasman corridor, Virgin's WiFi-equipped Boeing 737s will also fly to Fiji and Bali "creating a key differentiator in the market for us," the spokesperson added.

A spokesperson for Qantas confirmed that the airline has no plans to match Virgin's WiFi play across the pond.

"We are focusing on the domestic WiFi rollout right now" the spokesperson told Australian Business Traveller. "With international flights, we need a product that can overcome a number of technical, performance and coverage challenges."

Virgin's flights from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane to Los Angeles will progressively come online from December 2017 as each of the five Boeing 777-300ER jets is upgraded, with the service to be free to all travellers during its initial 'beta testing' period.

Virgin is expected to reveal its pricing and plans for international WiFi access in mid-December.

David

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.

DownSouth

DownSouth

23 Oct 2014

Total posts 106

Great news, dramatically expanded coverage including the US, Asia, NZ and the pacific, not only domestic. Good to see a standard product across all the routes Virgin flies.

Alex Moris

Alex Moris

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 Jan 2017

Total posts 39

Great news Virgin!!! Wifi is now a standard feature in in-flight offering. You would think Qantas would reintroduce this back on the A380. And especially fit this on their Dreamliner since they are marketing it to be the most orgasmic aircraft in the world.

Alxarora

Alxarora

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Aug 2016

Total posts 20

Qantas wifi technology is unable to go overseas as its based on the nbn network which is only in Australia. Where Virgin has partnered with Optus and Gogo sat

David

David

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2338

Both Qantas and Virgin Australia will need to use different satellites to their current arrangement for international services, due to the AU-focussed footprint of the NBN and Optus birds (that said, the Optus satellite does cover NZ which is how Virgin's trans-Tasman service will be delivered).

traveller99

traveller99

18 Nov 2015

Total posts 107

Don't worry, Qantas will launch it on international flights in 2020 and there'll be a fanfare about it and it will be called world leading.

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