All Nippon Airways to offer free Wi-Fi on Japanese domestic flights

A supplied image of the ANA Airbus A321neo cabin. (ANA)
A supplied image of the ANA Airbus A321neo cabin. (ANA)

While scores of airlines around the world are adding fees and charges for all sorts of ancillary items, Japanese flag carrier All Nippon Airways (ANA) is bucking the trend by saying it will offer free onboard internet Wi-Fi and seat-back inflight entertainment on the bulk of its domestic fleet.

The rollout of free Wi-Fi was due to commence on April 1 2018 and include Boeing 777s, 787s, 767s, 737-800s and Airbus A321s used on domestic routes with in Japan, ANA said on Wednesday.

“By the end of fiscal year 2018, we are planning on expanding this service to a total of one hundred aircraft, reaching the highest number on Japan domestic routes,” ANA said in a statement.

“With this new service, we hope to give tourists exploring Japan an opportunity to plan their expedition wherever and whenever they wish.”

ANA’s fiscal year ends on March 31.

And in a further investment in the passenger experience, ANA said it would add more programming to its onboard audio and video selection.

Free onboard internet Wi-Fi will not be available on the 737-500, 737-500, Airbus A320 and Q400 fleet.

Meanwhile, ANA is also planning on installing personal seat monitors, power points and USB ports across its domestic 777 and 787 fleets from the second half of fiscal 2019. The Star Alliance member said USB ports would also be available on the 767 and 737 domestic fleet.

A supplied image of the seat-back entertainment screen on an ANA Airbus A321neo. (ANA)
A supplied image of the seat-back entertainment screen on an ANA Airbus A321neo. (ANA)

ANA flies daily between Sydney and Tokyo Haneda with Boeing 787 equipment. It recently announced a collaboration with Australian chef Adam Liaw for the onboard menu on its flights departing Sydney.

In Australia, Qantas is rolling out free onboard internet Wi-Fi across its domestic 737 and A330 fleet.

Local rival Virgin Australia is also installing the necessary equipment for Wi-Fi on its 737 and 777 fleet currently. The airline is offering the service free for now. It was expected to start charging for Wi-Fi some time in 2018.