Qantas: No Onboard Wi-Fi This Year

Qantas: No Onboard Wi-Fi This Year

Qantas is expanding its Q Streaming initiative, which offers movies and TV streamed to iPads supplied to passengers, to all 767 aircraft on its domestic network. However, it says that it won’t begin offering that option to customers using their own smartphones or tablets until 2013, which means we almost certainly won’t see generally available Wi-Fi options for long-haul routes until then either.

Picture by Simon_sees

CEO Alan Joyce confirmed the Q Streaming plans at the announcement of Qantas’ 2011/2012 results in Sydney this morning. No time frame was offered for the Q Streaming upgrade, but Qantas plans an overall refurbishment of 16 of its 22 domestic 767s beginning in October. Its budget Jetstar brand already offers iPads for rent, though those have fixed content loaded on each device rather than using Wi-Fi.

The lack of activity on Wi-Fi is not surprising. Joyce was lukewarm about the potential for Wi-Fi earlier this year, though it has run limited international trials. Given that Qantas’ international business lost $450 million, spending more on Wi-Fi might not be a priority. That said, being able to stay online during a long-haul flight would be a big selling point for many travellers.


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