Virgin sets sights on in-flight internet access


VIRGIN Australia, fresh from launching wireless entertainment streaming in its aircraft, is now investigating mile-high internet access for passengers.

Earlier this week, the airline launched a wireless system which allowed travellers to "stream" videos and films to their own devices.

And, on Tuesday, Virgin confirmed it was now considering how to deliver internet access to passengers .

They would not be the first.

Qantas offered a trial for in-flight wi-fi for much of last year before cancelling the initiative through lack of interest.

It was charging between $12 and $39 for use on flights to Britain and the United States.

With airlines in the United States and Europe already offering internet access during flights, Australia's domestic carriers face a unique challenge because much of the country beyond the coastline has little on-ground infrastructure.

Those hoping for a wi-fi arms race to break out between Australia's airlines are likely to be sorely disappointed.

Tiger Air is currently focused on its menu options, something it described as a "higher priority".

Jetstar is more reluctant. After first offering in-flight iPads for entertainment, an airline spokesman told APN the cost of wi-fi would be passed on to customers and so far, there was no demand for it.

"We're a leisure airline and many of our customers say they enjoy switching off and relaxing when they fly with us," he said.

A spokesman for Civil Aviation Safety Authority said the safety regulator had no issue with wi-fi as long as it caused "no hazard or interference" to the aircraft.

Topics:  internet virgin airlines wifi

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Confirmed: Matt Damon is NOT moving to Byron Bay

HOLLYWOOD COUPLE: Matt Damon and Luciana Barroso arriving at the 88th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California.

But the town gained an unexpected US marketing campaign

Country Club becomes the centre of power

GENERATION: Nationals Parliamentary Secretary for Renewable Energy Ben Franklin, presenting the funding to the Club - General Manager Andrew Spice, Golf Director Ian Wingad, Chairman Peter Tomaros, Treasurer Anne Slater, and Director Tony Dahl.

Grant to Shore emergency centre

An evening of Muslim Sufi music with Tahir Qawwal

LOCAL: Canadian-born Tahir Qawwal.

Qawwali is a form of Sufi devotional music from Pakistan and India

Local Partners