QANTAS TURNS ON THE CRICKET THIS SUMMER AT 30,000FT USING WI-FI

Sydney | Published on 17th November 2017 at 6:56

Customers travelling on Qantas Domestic aircraft fitted with inflight Wi-Fi will have the opportunity to watch every live game of international cricket played in Australia this season.

As part of the airline’s partnership with Cricket Australia, Qantas will live stream 75 matches of professional cricket played in Australia including the Commonwealth Bank Women’s Ashes T20 matches, Magellan Men’s Ashes, the Gillette One Day Internationals and T20s, the KFC Big Bash League and Rebel WBBL.

Qantas Chief Customer Officer, Olivia Wirth, said Qantas is leading the way in Australia for inflight connectivity.

“Qantas is proud to support the men’s and women’s teams through our Cricket Australia partnership, and as part of that we’re able to offer more than 400 hours of live cricket over the season to around 60,000 customers inflight every week,” she said.

“Our goal is to give our customers the best inflight Wi-Fi experience in Australia. We’ve installed ViaSat’s next generation in-flight Wi-Fi service, which delivers speeds up to 10 times faster than conventional on-board Wi-Fi by tapping into the nbn satellite network.  We’ve partnered with the best in entertainment and we’re offering it for free.”

Cricket Australia Executive GM, Broadcasting, Digital Media & Commercial, Ben Amarfio, said: “Our mantra of serving cricket fans wherever they are, is going to the next level with this fantastic initiative. This unique partnership allows us to deliver on that even when cricket fans are 30,000 feet in the air. Courtesy of Qantas, cricket fans won’t miss a ball of action.

“We are also delighted that we will be able to showcase a wide variety of Cricket Australia Digital’s feature content to fans on-demand, so they get their cricket fix even when matches are not being played,” Ben Amarfio commented.

Following a successful customer trial earlier this year, the airline has so far installed next generation Wi-Fi hardware on *15 Boeing 737 aircraft as part of its progressive rollout. Focusing initially on its 737 fleet, Qantas will begin installation on its domestic A330s from early next year, with 80 B737 and A330 aircraft complete by the end of 2018.

“The customer trial on our first Wi-Fi aircraft helped us fine-tune the system and we’re pleased to be switching the system on across the domestic fleet. When it is complete, 15 million passengers a year will be able to stay connected in the air,” Olivia Wirth added.

In addition to live cricket matches, a dedicated channel on Qantas Inflight Entertainment from January will keep fans engaged with cricket content produced by Cricket Australia Digital exclusively for Qantas, including:

  • Ashes Moments: Memorable performances of the storied rivalry recalled by the men who made them happen
  • Turf Wars: Relive the greatest Ashes series with cinematic highlight reels
  • Invaders: Profiling some of the best Englishmen to plant their bat on Australian soil

The Qantas system gives customers the ability to stream movies, TV shows, sport, music and news programs – including through content partnerships with Stan, Spotify and Netflix. In an extended deal, Netflix will offer new customers three months of access, while existing Netflix customers can apply the same three month offer to their account. Customers can also stay connected through email as well as social media, watch the latest YouTube clips or shop online.

In addition to customer use, Wi-Fi provides Qantas crew with real time information that will improve efficiency and the passenger experience. Pilots are able to access detailed live weather, which will help them steer clear of turbulence as well as making better use of tailwinds to reduce flying time. Cabin crew have more options to better manage customers’ onward journeys while still in the air.

* subject to Government approvals and licensing arrangements.

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