Qantas to upgrade planes with wifi, power

Posted by Humphrey Cheung

Sydney (Australia) – Australian airline Qantas is upgrading its fleet to include both wired and wireless Internet access and laptop power ports in most seats.  The upgrades will be phased in on the company’s Boeing 747-400 planes and will be standard on all Airbus A380s that will be delivered starting August 2008.

Starting in February 2008, Qantas 747-400 flights to London, Hong Kong and Johannesburg will have “Premium Economy” seats with RJ45 port for Internet access.  More routes will be phased in afterwards.

All of the Airbus A380 flights will have laptop power plugs, USB ports and RJ45 ports in Premium Economy class and above.  Those planes will also have wireless Internet access.

The connectivity upgrades are similar to what Virgin America plans on doing when it launches on August 8th.  Every seat on Virgin will have RJ45 and power plugs, although the carrier hasn’t yet reached a deal on a broadband provider.