Qantas Wi-Fi fails to launch

Hannah Edensor

Just as it was due to debut its inflight Wi-Fi service, Qantas has pulled the plug temporarily, blaming “stability issues” for the setback.

The airline released a statement, which claimed, “We’ve been testing in-flight wi-fi for several weeks and the performance has been strong.

“We were preparing to open it up to media and customers this week as we continue our finetuning over the next few months, but some stability issues have emerged that we need to fix before customers can use it.

Qantas has had inflight Wi-Fi on the agenda since November 2015 now, and this delay is the latest for the service planned to launch in February.

Qantas has recently launched extra additions to its inflight Wi-Fi offering, which when operating will allow passengers to stream Netflix, Spotify, Foxtel and Stan.

But despite this setback, the airline claims it’s still aiming to roll out the service in mid-2017.

“We’re working with NBN and ViaSat to fix these issues very soon,” the statement read. “We remain on-track for a broader roll out to the Qantas Domestic fleet from mid-2017.”

Per News Corp, NBN also released a statement which claimed its satellite service was not to blame in this case, despite being plagued with tech issues since it kicked off in 2015.

“NBN understands that the technical issues that caused Qantas to cancel its in-flight wi-fi media demonstration flight did not involve the NBN Sky Muster satellite connection,” it read.

“Qantas has informed us that the NBN Sky Muster satellite connection that provides connectivity to the aircraft has been performing well but as with any technology trial, there’s always a chance things can go awry when you are the first to try something.

“While this is a disappointing, temporary setback we will continue to work with Qantas and Viasat to get this pioneering technology off-the-ground.”

Qantas had invited prominent tech media to trial the service this week, but cancelled it over the weekend.