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Qantas begins international Wi-Fi rollout

written by Jake Nelson | May 30, 2023

Qantas’ Boeing 737-800, VH-XZB, was its first aircraft to be equipped with free in-flight wi-fi for passengers. (Image: Kurt Ams/Qantas)

Qantas has switched on free satellite Wi-Fi for international flights to several destinations within Southeast Asia today.

Passengers on Wi-Fi-enabled Airbus A330-200 and Boeing 737 flights to and from Singapore, Denpasar, Jakarta, Manila and Port Moresby will be able to access the service while the jet is flying over Australia and within the coverage area of NBN Co’s Sky Muster satellites.

As reported in Executive Traveller, Qantas intends to offer Wi-Fi to passengers aboard its Project Sunrise A350s when the ultra-long-haul flights launch in 2025, making use of the ViaSat-3 constellation which will comprise three satellites, each covering one-third of the Earth’s surface. Qantas has noted that many of its existing long-range aircraft will also be upgraded to support satellite Wi-Fi.

“The plan is that the A350s will have Wi-Fi, but the plan is that we will also retrofit our A380s, A330s and 787s,” Qantas CFO Vanessa Hudson, who will take the reins as CEO at the airline’s November AGM, told Executive Traveller in February.

Qantas has offered Wi-Fi on domestic flights since 2017, with the service first coming to 737-800s before expanding to A330s.


Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce, who was on board the first Wi-Fi-enabled flight in April 2017, said at the time that the launch of inflight Wi-Fi was another initiative to improve the passenger experience.

“The technology we’re using on-board this 737 is a generation ahead of what most airlines around the world have and there’s a fair amount of complexity involved,” Joyce said.

“That’s why we’ve installed it on one aircraft for the first few months until we’ve finished fine tuning and are ready to roll out to the rest of the domestic fleet.”

“From a competitive perspective, today’s announcement puts us in a very strong position. No other domestic airline is offering its passengers next-generation Wi-Fi with a commitment that it’ll continue to be included in the price of the fare.”

Virgin Australia and Rex have since launched their own inflight Wi-Fi services, while Bonza has Wi-Fi connectivity only for its own entertainment and menu offerings.

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