Taking a flight overseas can often take its toll on the web-addicted, as you can find yourself offline for periods between five and twenty hours. One airline with flights from Australia is looking to make things a little easier, though, adding WiFi connectivity to international flights from October.
Emirates is launching a new service, running from Melbourne to Auckland and Dubai from October 2, and the aircraft that will take you there – one of the massive A380s – has been authorised to support WiFi within Australian airspace.
With this in play, travellers on the Emirates A380 out of Melbourne from the beginning of October will be able to surf the web, tweet, stream music, check Facebook, and do anything else they normally would with a regular wireless connection. Emirates is using wireless provider OnAir for the in-flight WiFi, and while costs haven’t been announced yet, it’s possible that they will be similar to the Emirates current starting packs with $7.50 USD costing for smartphones and $15 USD usage tag for computers.
“Emirates’ goal is to ensure maximum comfort and choice for passengers during their inflight entertainment, communications and information experience,” said the airline’s Patrick Brannelly, Vice President of Corporate Communications Products, Publishing, Digital and Events for Emirates .
“Emirates seeks to lead the industry, enabling our customers to get the most out of their journey and we’re pleased to be the first to offer Trans-Tasman customers from Melbourne the opportunity to stay connected in the air using Wi-Fi.”
With WiFi available for use on an Emirates A380 in Australia, it’s likely that Bluetooth is also allowed, meaning those wireless keyboards for iPad and Android tablets can be used, as well as the wireless headphones, so you no longer need to be tethered.
In-flight wireless connectivity isn’t common in Australia, but with Emirates taking this step, it’s possible that we’ll see more carriers take the technology up.