Qantas scraps plans for inflight Wi-Fi following trial

Qantas has scrapped plans to offer Wi-Fi onboard its Airbus A380s following average customer take-up of less than 5% during a nine-month trial.

The OnAir Wi-Fi service was tested on selected Airbus A380s flying to London and Los Angeles from March to November. Qantas offered the connectivity option to customers in various data packages ranging in price from A$12.90 ($13.48) to $39.90.

“Most of our A380 services operate at night and so another dampener on demand was the fact people preferred to sleep than surf the Web,” Qantas said in a release. “We remain focused on delivering services to our customers that they value. Right now, our customers are telling us that access to the Internet on the ground is more important than in the air. We are continuing to invest in upgrading Wi-Fi technology across our domestic and international lounge network. We will continue to evaluate demand for Wi-Fi options onboard.”

Existing service, which allows customers to send and receive text message and make inflight phone calls, will remain available on its A380s, selected Boeing 747s and A330 aircraft, the carrier said.

OnAir received authorization to provide inflight Wi-Fi service within Australian airspace in September.


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