Qantas May Offer Connectivity on Domestic Flights First

23rd Jan 2015

Unlike its major rivals operating in Australia, Qantas is not in a hurry to offer in-flight connectivity to its customers on either domestic or international flights.

The state flag carrier offered the same service back in 2012 on A380 routes as a trial basis to gauge the market, but the uptake was unsatisfactory to make it as a regular service offering in its flights.

Qantas is planning to revive the service on a trial basis soon but this time, it will be on domestic flights. It has partnered with Telstra and National Broadband Network for the project.

Admitted Qantas' Head of Creative Development and Customer Experience, Kylie Morris, the airline has long planned to offer internet service on all flights as part of its long-term strategy. She disclosed, however, that the demand is more on domestic than on international flights.

Foreign-based airlines operating into and out of Australia such as Emirates, Etihad Airways, Garuda Indonesia, Singapore Airlines, and JAL already offer in-flight internet service to their customers. Except for Emirates, who offers it for free with data download not exceeding 10MB, other airlines offer the service for a fee.

The airline said that the reason why they discontinued the service on a regular basis is that more than half their flights tend to operate overnight where customers choose to sleep rather than surf the net. They noted that demand is usually high during daytime flights.

She said, however, that they will offer the service on a regular basis as soon as the demand for it is sustainable enough?but definitely not now or anytime soon.

She went on to say that they will keep monitoring the market demand as they always listen to their customers to satisfy their needs in the best of their capacity without giving undue disadvantage to the company to sustain their operations.

She said that the service might not be feasible in Australia right now for lack of ground stations unlike in USA. She also abhorred the current satellite technology which is not only slow but also expensive.