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Virgin Australia promises in-flight Internet by mid-2017


Service will be available on both domestic and international flights.

Virgin Australia has outlined plans to fit its entire fleet with Wi-Fi by mid-2017, meaning passengers will be able to enjoy Internet access throughout their flight.

In a statement today, the airline said it would fit Internet access gear to its Boeing 737-800, Boeing 777 and Airbus A330 aircraft. The process is expected to be finished by mid-2017.

No word on what pricing will be charged or which flights will feature the service, but we think it's a fair bet it won't be free. We recently rounded up every airline in the world offering in-flight Wi-Fi, and only a handful of providers offer free services.

Virgin Australia says it will outline the "business model" for in-flight Wi-Fi and provide more details of the technology used later this year. It already uses on-board Wi-Fi to provide in-flight entertainment to smartphones and tablets.

As well as allowing you to tweet "I'm on a plane" to an uncaring world, in-flight Internet access can be useful for reorganising connections when your flight is delayed. Figures released today suggest Virgin is doing OK in that department, with the best rate of on-time arrivals.

Virgin's timing appears designed to compete with Qantas, which also plans to roll out in-flight Wi-Fi during 2017 through a partnership with ViaSat. Our analysis suggests that right now 18% of airlines worldwide offer a Wi-Fi service.

Picture: sarah1810 /

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