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Qantas to Upgrade its Existing International Fleet With Viasat IFC 

By Rachel Jewett | February 27, 2024

The Qantas Airways A330 plane. Photo: Qantas

Australian airline Qantas Airways plans to retrofit its fleet of international aircraft with Viasat’s in-flight connectivity (IFC) system, the company announced last week. Qantas’ Airbus A330, Boeing 787, and Airbus A380 fleets will progressively be retrofitted to enable connection to Viasat’s satellite network. 

Viasat has worked with Qantas Airways in the past and signed a deal to outfit the airline’s domestic fleet back in 2016. Qantas said it deferred adding Wi-Fi capabilities to its international fleet until satellite technology could deliver a similar connection on international flights as domestic flights. 

Installation on eight A330-200LR aircraft will begin in March and is expected to be completed by the end of the calendar year. Installation programs for the B787, A380 and A330-300s will start in 2025. New aircraft currently on order will be Wi-Fi capable when delivered.

“We know that staying connected is important to customers on international flights, and we’ve deliberately waited for the same high-speed connection we use domestically to be available on our overseas routes,” commented Qantas Group CEO Vanessa Hudson. “The new widebody aircraft we have on order in the next few years will come with high-speed Wi-Fi enabled but today we’re announcing we’ll be fitting it to our existing long-haul aircraft from late 2024, which coincides with a new satellite launching that will significantly expand coverage.”

Qantas reports the speed and reliability of its domestic Wi-Fi service has led to takeup rates of 75%, with some routes showing up to 100% takeup. 

“A significantly higher parentage of Qantas customers connect to in-flight Wi-Fi than the industry average, so we recognize what an important step it is to partner with Qantas to bring the same exceptional connectivity experience to its international fleet,” Don Buchman, VP and GM of Commercial Aviation for Viasat said in a statement to Via Satellite