Qantas to start inflight internet trial on US routes

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Qantas will start its in-flight Airbus A380 connectivity trial from 7 March, which will allow passengers travelling between Australia and the US to access the internet.

The trial will begin aboard six A380s for flights between Sydney and Los Angeles, and Melbourne and Los Angeles.

Qantas executive manager customer experience Alison Webster says: "The eight-week trial will give customers the opportunity to access the internet in exactly the same way as a terrestrial wi-fi hotspot in which customers can pay with their credit card and surf the internet, including the use of email."

"Qantas is the first airline in the world to trial this service on direct flights between Australia and the US," Webster adds.

The connectivity service, which is provided by OnAir, uses Inmarsat's SwiftBroadband and global satellite-based connections to transfer data between the passengers in the aircraft and the ground.

Following the trial, Qantas will assess opportunities for the long-term application of internet capabilities across its A380 fleet.