Average of 32% of passengers using Qantas inflight connectivity


A Qantas 737-800 advertises its ViaSat inflight connectivity.

A Qantas Boeing 737-800 advertises its ViaSat inflight connectivity.

More than 40,000 people have now connected to Qantas’ Wi-Fi in the sky since April as its first internet-enabled aircraft flies up and down the east coast of Australia.

It says their experience has also given its team a lot of useful information about how the ViaSat system is performing as they work to rollout Wi-Fi to the rest of its domestic fleet.

Qantas says the verdict to date is so far, so good.

An average of 32% of passengers are choosing to log-on at some stage in the flight. This is a lot higher than the 5% take up it saw when it trialled (older, slower, paid-for) Wi-Fi on an Airbus A380 in 2012.

The industry standard is less than 10%, but Qantas says it is expecting somewhere between 30-50% because it is offering the service on its domestic Boeing 737s and Airbus A330s free of charge.

It says fine tuning has seen reliability improve to above 98%, meaning it is seeing fewer dropouts as the aircraft flies at 850kmph across different satellite beams.

Download speeds now are routinely above 12 megabits per second, which has edged higher as the trial continues.

Overall customer satisfaction has been positive, with the latest survey figures showing 88% of customers gave their Wi-Fi experience the thumbs up.

Qantas says more than 60% of passengers connected to Wi-Fi are using one or more services/apps and visiting multiple websites.

Just like mobile users on the ground, passengers are spending the most time using email and browsing the web, in particular news sites.

This is followed by social media (Facebook is the most popular social media application), streaming video and music services (Stan, Netflix, Spotify), along with messaging services (like WhatsApp) and on-line shopping.

ViaSat Ka-band

A second Boeing B737 has now been fitted with the latest ViaSat Ka-band equipment.

Up to eight more will be fitted out between now and late September, when it expects to move from the trial phase to a broader rollout.

The Wi-Fi on these aircraft won’t be switched on for customers before then, because it must undergo testing. This new technology will offer faster speeds and improved reliability.

By the time Qantas’ domestic B737s and A330s are all fitted in late 2018 – around 80 aircraft in total – an estimated 15 million passengers a year will be able to stay connected in the air.

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Average of 32% of passengers using Qantas inflight connectivity was last modified: July 4th, 2017 by Steve Nichols
Filed in: Commercial Tags: , ,

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