Qantas is currently installing Wi-Fi in its domestic Airbus A330s, and are looking to launch it in June. This will be the airline’s second big push into free Wi-Fi – with thirty Qantas 737s already offering the service.
According to Roo Tales, “By the end of this year, 75 percent of the combined domestic 737 and A330 fleet of 80 aircraft will have Wi-Fi, with the remaining aircraft to be equipped during 2019. Once they’re all fitted – an estimated 15 million passengers a year will be able to stay connected in the air.”
This is great news for anyone taking the long flight to or from WA, or any of us who have trouble disconnecting on shorter flights.
Phone calls and Facetime will thankfully remain disconnected for now.
While Qantas first offered free Wi-Fi in its 737s back in 2017, this wasn’t the company’s first foray into in-flight connectivity. The airline tested paid Wi-Fi on an A380 back in 2012, but it wasn’t popular, with only 5 per cent of customers using the service.
Customers seem more impressed this time around. Not only is it free, but also faster.
Qantas reported in July 2017 that of the 3500 people who take the Boeing 737-800 (tail number VH-XZB) between Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Cairns each week – 32 per cent use Wi-Fi during the flight.
Considering that these stats are from a year ago (and there are now 30 aircrafts across the fleet equipped with Wi-Fi), this number may have grown and will probably continue to with the launch of the A330 Wi-Fi.
Sadly there has been no word on when Qantas will roll out Wi-Fi on international flights. While being forced to disconnect can be a good thing, this service will most likely become expected over the coming years as technology becomes more predominant in our lives and people travel overseas more.