Inflight wifi is a feature on aircraft that is continuously growing in popularity. More and more airlines are installing it and it’s often a must with some travellers. The ability to get work done, answer emails, make calls and even stream Netflix at 38,000 feet can be done on a number of carriers.
In Australia, both Qantas and Virgin Australia started the installation of inflight wifi to their fleet this year. Qantas is using the NBN Skymuster service with Viasat while Virgin Australia is using an Optus satellite with Gogo’s 2ku system.
Virgin have been testing their wifi within Australia for the past couple of months with a single 737-800 with the registration of VH-YIG. When the carrier first announced the wifi they didn’t say too much about how the rollout would work but there is now more information available.
Virgin will continue to fit wifi to the 737-800 fleet and will also be starting to fit wifi on the 777’s. The 777 fleet fly exclusively to Los Angeles from Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney. The carrier hopes to have majority of the 737’s and all of the 777’s fitted by 2018.
Following the 737’s and 777’s will of course be the A330 fleet. The A330’s are said to be fully completed by the second half of 2019 and they currently fly on the coast to coast services, Hong Kong and rumoured to be Shanghai in the coming months.
Virgin stated that they will offer free base wifi for all guests but it’s reported that they will also be introducing a more premium package which usually provide higher speeds, more devices and things like that. This is similar to what many airlines around the world offer and it works very well.