Qantas has kicked off its in-flight A380 connectivity trial, which will see travellers between Australia and the US given access to Wi-Fi during flights.
In a long-awaited move, travellers in First and Business class on six A380 flights between Sydney and Los Angeles and Melbourne and Los Angeles will have access to the internet and emails during flights.
The connectivity service is provided by OnAir and uses Inmarsat’s SwiftBroadband and global satellite based connections to transfer data between the passengers in the aircraft to the ground.
Qantas executive manager of customer experience Alison Webster said both business and leisure travellers will have access to the internet via Wi-Fi enabled laptops, tablets and phones during the eight week trial.
“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,” she said.
Though only Business and First class travellers will have access to internet connectivity initially, Qantas said the trial will form part of its ongoing strategic evaluation of connectivity options, including the review of next generation technology platforms.
Following the trial, Qantas said it will assess opportunities for the long-term application of internet capabilities across the A380 fleet.