Qantas commences inflight connectivity trial across the Pacific

Sydney | Published on 6th March 2012 at 2:27

Qantas will officially commence its in-flight A380 connectivity trial tomorrow, offering passengers travelling between Australia and the United States access to the Internet and emails in the sky.

The trial will commence aboard six Qantas A380s equipped with internet technology for flights between Sydney and Los Angeles and Melbourne and Los Angeles.

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.

Following the trial, Qantas will assess opportunities for the long-term application of internet capabilities across its A380 fleet.