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Qantas to finally deliver international Wi-Fi this year

written by Adam Thorn | February 22, 2024

The upgraded premium economy cabins inside Qantas’ A380s.

Qantas will finally deliver Wi-Fi to its international services from the end of the year.

The Flying Kangaroo promised the technology would be fast enough to stream movies, TV shows and live sports to users’ devices.

The carrier has faced criticism from customers for being one of the last major airlines not to provide Wi-Fi on long-haul flights, despite flying some of the longest services in the world.

However, on Thursday, Qantas revealed it would retrofit its existing fleet of international aircraft with internet capabilities, while new aircraft on order would come with the service built in.

“Qantas’ A330, B787 and A380 fleets will progressively be retrofitted to enable connection to Viasat’s expanding next-generation satellite network,” said the airline.


“The A330-200LR installation program will be built into the existing heavy maintenance schedule starting in March 2024.

“Installation on all eight of these aircraft is expected to be complete by the end of this calendar year, coinciding with the launch of a new satellite covering South East Asia.

“Installation programs for the B787, A380 and A330-300s will commence from 2025.

“New aircraft currently on order, including A350 and B787 fleets, will be Wi-Fi capable when delivered.

“Jetstar will introduce onboard Wi-Fi on its international widebody fleet from 2026, as part of its Boeing 787 cabin refresh.”

CEO Vanessa Hudson insisted the airline had “deliberately waited” to install Wi-Fi on international flights so the business could offer the “same high-speed connection we use domestically”.

“The new widebody aircraft we have on order in the next few years will come with high-speed Wi-Fi enabled, but today we’re announcing we’ll be fitting it to our existing long-haul aircraft from late 2024, which coincides with a new satellite launching that will significantly expand coverage,” she said.

Other digital improvements set to arrive include a “major evolution” of the Qantas app and an overhaul of its main website used to book flights.

The announcement came at the same time as the Flying Kangaroo revealed another huge half-year underlying profit before tax of $1.25 billion.

In a statement to the ASX, the business revealed earnings were just 13 per cent lower than the equivalent period in FY23 despite Australians facing cost-of-living fears and rising inflation.

It came after the airline posted a monster $2.465 billion profit before tax in its last financial year – the first full period free of restrictions following the end of the pandemic.

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