Free wi-fi is coming to Qantas domestic flights next year

Retro Qantas. Michael Bradley/Getty Images

Qantas will have free inflight Wi-Fi on its domestic routes from next year.

The wi-fi, being installed in a partnership with global technology services company ViaSat, taps into the NBN and is expected to be as fast as on ground services.

Qantas partner Emirates offers on-board Wi-Fi at a price while some airlines in the US in Europe have internet access.

In-flight trials are expected to begin late this year and a roll-out across Qantas domestic’s fleet of A330s and B737s is planned from the start of 2017.

CEO Alan Joyce says the innovation is much more than just checking emails and Facebook on a flight from Melbourne to Brisbane.

“The challenge of providing on-board wi-fi in a country as vast as Australia can’t be underestimated,” he says.

“We have experimented with on-board connectivity in the past, including on our A380s. But with this new technology we can deliver speeds in the air that people usually expect on the ground.

“It means streaming your favourite TV show or movie from Sydney to Perth. Or watching an entire cricket or rugby or football game in real time. It will be that fast.”

In another technology upgrade, the Qantas and Jetstar websites are being rebuilt to allow mobile-enabled booking and check-in.

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