Posted on: 06 March 2012 by Mark Howells
Qantas has begun an in-flight connectivity trial on six of its A380 aircraft, offering passengers access to the internet aboard flights between Australia and the United States.
The trial will initially be available to passengers travelling in First and Business class cabins on routes between Sydney and Los Angeles and Melbourne and Los Angeles, forming part of Qantas’ ongoing strategic evaluation of connectivity options, including the review of next generation technology platforms.
Alison Webster, Qantas Executive Manager Customer Experience, explained that for the first time passengers will have access to the internet via their own Wi-Fi enabled laptops and electronic devices, such as iPhones, iPads and BlackBerrys.
“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 added. “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.”
In-flight connectivity specialist, OnAir, is providing the service using Inmarsat’s SwiftBroadband and global satellite based connections to transfer data between the passengers in the aircraft to the ground.