Qantas to Introduce Connectivity on Domestic Fleet

Sydney, 20 March 2008

Qantas announced today it would roll out new technology on its domestic aircraft from late 2008 to allow customers to send and receive email and SMS via mobile phone or personal electronic device.

Qantas Executive General Manager, Mr John Borghetti, said the airline had lead the industry in evaluating the technology on a B767-300 aircraft between April 2007 and January 2008.

"The evaluation of this new technology was a great success," Mr Borghetti said.

"An overwhelming majority of passengers involved in the evaluation indicated they wanted access to inflight connectivity on an ongoing basis.

"We are committed to supporting their needs and will continue to be the market leader in introducing innovative business relevant products and services. This next generation technology will allow them to use their inflight time more effectively," he said.

Qantas has partnered with AeroMobile, which has developed the technology which allows mobile phones and portable devices to be used safely inflight without interference to aircraft systems or the ground communication network.

"Customers wanting to send or receive an SMS will require only a GSM phone and a global roaming account, while customers wanting to send or receive emails will need a GPRS enabled device like a Blackberry or an appropriately equipped laptop," Mr Borghetti said.

Mr Borghetti said Qantas and its partners were working with the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA), Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) and other agencies to ensure the system operated in accordance with Australian regulatory and legal requirements.

Voice connectivity is a feature of the technology but will not be activated as part of the new service.

Mr Borghetti said the technology would initially be installed on a number of domestic B767-300 and A330-200 aircraft.

Issued by Qantas Corporate Communication (3740)