spaceconnect logo

Qantas to install Viasat Wi-Fi on international flights this year

Qantas will finally deliver Wi-Fi on its international services later this year in a move that will coincide with the launch of a new satellite covering Southeast Asia.

The airline promised the connection, provided by US-based Viasat, would be fast enough to stream movies, TV shows, and live sports to users’ devices.

The carrier has faced criticism from customers for being one of the last major airlines not to provide connectivity on long-haul flights despite flying some of the longest services in the world.

Qantas currently only provides Wi-Fi on selected domestic flights, using both Viasat and NBN’s Sky Muster, or international flights while the aircraft is flying directly over Australia.


Chief executive officer Vanessa Hudson insisted the business had “deliberately waited” to make the move so it could offer the “same high-speed connection we use domestically”.

“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,” she said.

The upgrades will first apply to Qantas’ A330 fleet, with work beginning in March, before the existing 787s and A380s are turned internet-ready.

Qantas previously said it would make Wi-Fi available on its upcoming “Project Sunrise” direct flights between Sydney to London and New York – but that service has now been delayed into 2026.


The win for Viasat comes after it purchased British-based Inmarsat last year and as it plans to blast off its next-generation ViaSat-3 constellation that can provide more than 1Tbps of capacity per satellite.

It also follows Space Connect reporting last year how Air New Zealand would roll-out Wi-Fi on its domestic flights in partnership with Starlink.

The carrier, which already offers Inmarsat Wi-Fi on international services, will test the technology on a domestic A320 family jet and an ATR in late 2024, with a broader launch in 2025 pending a successful trial run of four to six months.

According to Air New Zealand chief digital officer Nikhil Ravishankar, the partnership will enable reliable high-speed internet on domestic flights with latency as low as 30ms.

“We’re always looking at how new and innovative technology can deliver improved customer experiences, and with the world’s largest satellite constellation, exploring in-motion connectivity on our aircraft with Starlink was a no-brainer,” he said.

Adam Thorn

Adam Thorn

Adam is a journalist who has worked for more than 40 prestigious media brands in the UK and Australia. Since 2005, his varied career has included stints as a reporter, copy editor, feature writer and editor for publications as diverse as Fleet Street newspaper The Sunday Times, fashion bible Jones, media and marketing website Mumbrella as well as lifestyle magazines such as GQ, Woman’s Weekly, Men’s Health and Loaded. He joined Momentum Media in early 2020 and currently writes for Australian Aviation and World of Aviation.

Receive the latest developments and updates on Australia’s space industry direct to your inbox. Subscribe today to Space Connect here.

Receive the latest developments and updates on Australia’s space industry direct to your inbox. Subscribe today to Space Connect.