Qantas has started trialling Wi-Fi services onboard its aircraft.
A Boeing 737 aircraft re-entered service last week, having been equipped with the hardware needed to enable the in-flight connectivity.
This followed a series of ground tests conducted by Qantas and ViaSat, the Wi-Fi provider. Qantas will offer the service free-of-charge, but passengers will still have to wait for a few months before the Wi-Fi is made available.
“We are very excited that we are a step closer to introducing our fast and free inflight Wi-Fi,” said Qantas’ head of customer experience, Phil Capps. “Customers with a keen eye will be able to spot the satellite antenna, which is housed in a streamlined fibreglass radome on top of the fuselage, towards the rear of the aircraft.
“While we know that customers will want to connect to the Wi-Fi, we really do appreciate their patience while we go through our final testing process,” he added.
According to ViaSat, the new service will offer connection speeds up to 10 times faster than conventional in-flight Wi-Fi, enabling passengers to stream movies, TV shows and live sports. The service will also help pilots and cabin crew, providing access to live weather data and other important flight information.
Qantas is introducing Wi-Fi across its domestic B737 and Airbus A330 fleet, with the full roll-out expected to be completed in 2018.