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Qantas adds free Wi-Fi from Viasat

February 26, 2024

By Chris Forrester

Australian airline Qantas is upgrading its entire international fleet with fast and free Viasat in-flight Wi-Fi. The retrofit conversions will be completed by the end of this year. The upgrade will allow passengers to stream entertainment and news on multiple devices.

Qantas has also ordered eight Airbus A321XLR versions for its domestic fleet as part of what the airline says is a huge investment in its customers with a “major digital investment to help streamline travel experience on the ground”.

The investment includes fitting aircraft with “fast free Wi-Fi” allowing customers to stay connected, as well as the improved Qantas Entertainment App for streaming content to their own device. An integrated personal device holder and USB A and C charging in both Economy and Business; and additional wireless charging pad in Business.

The bandwidth available once the conversion takes place will allow every passenger on board to enjoy connectivity. The service will tap into the latest technology from global broadband services provider, Viasat, giving customers on international flights the ability to stream movies, TV shows, the latest news bulletins and live sports.

Qantas says it had deferred the upgrade until global satellite technology was able to deliver a similar quality connection that Qantas customers have when travelling domestically. The speed and reliability of Qantas’ domestic Wi-Fi service has driven average take-up rates of 75 per cent, with some routes showing up to 100 per cent uptake.

New aircraft currently on order, including Airbus A350 and Boeing 787 fleets, will be Wi-Fi capable when delivered.

“The new widebody aircraft we have on order in the next few years will come with high-speed Wi-Fi enabled but today we’re announcing we’ll be fitting it to our existing long-haul aircraft from late 2024, which coincides with a new satellite launching that will significantly expand coverage,” said CEO Vanessa Hudson.

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