Monday, June 26, 2017

Qantas Boeing B737-800 VH-XZB - With In-Flight WI-FI Stickers - Calls into Hamilton Island Airport

In April this year, Qantas Airways official launched its new in-flight Internet WI-FI service to the travelling public with Boeing B737-800 VH-XZB rolled out in promotional stickers along with it completing several test flights.  Reports suggested that when once at a cruising altitude, those on board the aircraft experienced a solid WI-FI connection that enabled streaming from Foxtel, Netflix and YouTube, as well as posting on social media and downloading emails.

The aircraft's first visit into Central Queensland with the new WI-FI service occurred over the weekend when VH-XZB was noted visiting Hamilton Island Airport on Saturday 24 June.  It was operating the scheduled QFA870/871 service from and back to Melbourne (Tullamarine).

VH-XZB departs Adelaide Airport recently  (File photo)

Qantas plans to roll out the technology on its fleet of domestic B737-800s and Airbus A330s, with about 80 aircraft to be fitted with a satellite antenna, multiple wireless access points in the cabin and other hardware by the end of 2018.

UPDATE!  On Tuesday 4 July, Qantas has announced that it has installed WI-FI equipment on a second Boeing B737-800 - VH-XZC - as it progresses with the roll-out of the technology that made its debut in April on VH-XZB.  To my knowledge though, VH-XZC does not carry the same promotional titles as VH-XZB

Of interest, it's been reported that Virgin Australia has also commenced a three-month in-flight internet WI-FI trial on board one of their Boeing B737-800 aircraft from mid-April.  The aircraft, VH-YIG, has been fitted with the necessary hardware and some internal testing is being undertaken ahead of the service being opened up to the public.

Photo taken by Tony Haynes  ©

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