Virgin Australia has begun trialling inflight wifi on select domestic services operated by one of its Boeing 737-800 aircraft.
Set to run for three months, the testing period will allow passengers onboard the aircraft to make use of the wifi, which also supports film, TV and music streaming services Netflix, Stan and Pandora.
“We are thrilled to commence customer testing of our inflight wifi today,” said John Thomas, group executive at Virgin Australia Airlines. “We want to ensure that guests can stay reliably connected in the air while also enjoying the fantastic entertainment and customer service for which Virgin Australia is well known.”
During the trial period, the inflight wifi will be free to use, though a final pricing model for the service when it officially rolls out has yet to be announced. Customer feedback gathered during the trial period will be factored into the airline’s eventual business model.
Passengers travelling on board the wifi-enabled B737-800 will be notified that wifi is available. While the aircraft will be flying Virgin Australia’s domestic network during the trial period, according to a spokesperson for the airline, the exact routes it will be travelling on are subject to change, and so passengers will be unable to specifically book a flight on the trial aircraft ahead of time.
Virgin Australia plans to install inflight wifi across its fleet of B737-800s, Airbus A330s and B777s for domestic and international services following the testing period.
Last week, fellow Australian carrier Qantas launched a beta mode of its inflight wifi on board its own B737-800s flying on its domestic routes. The launch marked the start of wifi rollout across Qantas’ 80 aircraft, due for full completion by the end of 2018.