TransportAirlines

Etihad announces plans for in-flight Wi-Fi only hours after Qantas kills its own connectivity

Skift Take

In-flight Wi-Fi is an expensive undertaking for airlines that can stand to wait for future profits, a luxury that Qantas couldn’t afford but Etihad is more than able to swallow.

— Samantha Shankman

Etihad launched its in-flight “Wi-Fly” service today and announced plans for ubiquitous connectivity by the end of 2014.

The news came only hours after Qantas announced it was killing all future forays into connectivity after a nine-month trial. The Australian airline cited a lackluster response from flyers as the primary reason for the cancellation.

Etihad joins Emirates and Singapore Airlines in offering inflight Internet on flights in and out of Australia. The “Wi-Fly,” which will be available on the airline’s Airbus A330-200 fleet, will cost $25 for a 24-hour pass or $14 for one hour. First Class passengers can access the Internet for free.

Narrow-body aircraft will have data and mobile phone connectivity, while wide-body aircraft will be equipped with broadband Internet services.

Etihad switched from OnAir technology to Panasonic’s Global Communications Suite, which is an air-to-satellite system similar to ViaSat.

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