In-flight wifi is a feature that is becoming more and more popular in the airline industry. A number of airlines have had it for years and some airlines are now just starting to get it. In Australia, both Qantas and Virgin haven’t had wifi up until now. Both carriers are testing theirs and they should both be rolling it out completely very soon.
Anyway, Qatar Airways offer wifi on three aircraft, the A380, 787 and the A350-900 whereas their Middle Eastern competitors offer wifi on almost all aircraft in their fleets. There are also a few smaller aircraft with the wifi.
To be honest, Qatar’s wifi on their A380 is quite a joke. I’ve flown it twice and the speeds were terrible. The A350 is marginally better but still not great. The funny part is, Qatar know that their wifi isn’t a high performer and their CEO Akbar Al Baker addressed this and said that the airline will be upgrading their wifi.
Well, Qatar and Inmarsat have announced that they will be partnering to bring higher quality and faster wifi to the carriers A350’s and 777’s (no variants mentioned). The airline will be using GX Aviation in-flight broadband which is already in service on select Lufthansa, Austrian, and Eurowings aircraft
To learn more about the technical side of GX broadband, click here.
If you’re wanting an idea of the speeds, Getconnected did a brilliant article on the speeds within Europe. They range from around 12 – 14 megabits per second which are decent speeds. Obviously, these speeds will vary depending on the routeing and where you’re flying over but this gives you a fairly good idea.
But what about the rest of the fleet?
This was the surprising part of the whole news. There was not one mention of their flagship aircraft – the A380. Wouldn’t you think it would be a logical and a smart idea to fit your largest and most premium aircraft with a better wifi product? They also don’t mention their A320’s, A321’s, A340’s, 787’s or A330’s. Some of these smaller aircraft still operate 6, 7-hour flights and it would make sense to have wifi on them.
Even though they’re skipping the A380, it’s a positive move for the carrier and it’s a massive improvement. It’s said that the new wifi will be fitted on 130 Qatar aircraft and it’s set to start being fitted in the U.S Summer which is right now!
Kudos to Qatar for improving their wifi.