In-flight web surfing is coming 2012. Qantas is to kick off Wi-Fi in flight service from January.
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The pilot scheme will be on selected A380 aircraft starting in February next year, CEO Alan Joyce said today.
Passengers flying between Sydney-LA and Melbourne-LA will be able to access the Internet via iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry or any Wi-Fi enabled devices.
This means for the first time in Australia, you can communicate with work via email, go online and talk to others, Facebook and Tweet while in the skies.
And it seems the web service could be extended to Qantas domestic and international fleets, in the near future, with the airline saying it would “access opportunities” for other flights.
“From February next year our customers travelling between Australia and Los Angeles will have the opportunity to participate in our inflight connectivity trial and communicate online from the 35,000 feet,” said Joyce.
This will give customers with the opportunity to access the Net in the same way as a terrestrial Wi-Fi hotspot and passengers can pay via credit card.
The service, provided by OnAir uses Inmarsat’s SwiftBroadband and global satellite based connections to transfer data.
The trial, set to kick off in January, will initially be available to First and Business cabins.
The move is part of Qantas’ ongoing evaluation of connectivity options, the airline said today.
Already this year, it also announced it would commence a trial offering 200 hours of inflight entertainment options to passengers via iPads provided in each seat on B767-300 aircraft.
Customers travelling on the dedicated B767 will also be able to watch Qantas’s in-flight entertainment on their laptop computer, smartphone, tablet or other WIFI enabled device later in the latter part of the trial.
Q Streaming utilises cutting edge wireless technology that enables customers to connect to the Qantas on demand IFE system, with their WIFI devices, providing Qantas customers with a greater variety of choice from a wide range of content.
“We are excited and proud to be the first airline worldwide to pilot this ground-breaking technology.”