Inflight streaming: Qantas hooks up with Netflix, Spotify, Foxtel

The service will be rolled out on Qantas' domestic flights later the month, along with superfast wi-fi that will reportedly be ten times faster than existing in-flight wi-fi.

Passengers flying with Qantas will be able to watch thousands of hours of their favourite TV show and films for free, listen to 30million-plus songs and enjoy live sport - all at 35,000 feet. The service utilises NBN's Sky Muster satellites.

"We know that email, online shopping and general web browsing will be popular uses when we switch on Wi-Fi", said Olivia Worth, Qantas group executive of marketing.

While all three are paid subscription services, they will offer free access to Qantas customers on and off the aircraft for between three days and one month after their flight.

Foxtel will offer three days free access every time a customer flies, while Netflix and Spotify will both offer a 30-day free trial for new customers.

In addition to assisting with reducing turbulence and improving aircraft maintenance, the upgrade will also provide a boost to entertainment in the form of Foxtel, Netflix and Spotify access.

Airlines are now battling to keep up with each other's technological developments - last November, British Airways announced it would be launching super-fast in-flight wi-fi and Netflix on its short-haul flights, as wi-fi is already available for passengers taking short flights with Lufthansa and Norwegian. The rest of the airline's fleet of domestic Boeing 737 and Airbus A330 aircraft will follow from mid-2017 onwards. Qantas also said it was working with suppliers to potentially extend Wi-Fi services on regional and worldwide flights.

Spotify will offer a 30 day free trial of its Premium music service, which has no ads, shuffle play and unlimited skips. As well as links to access Netflix, Spotify and Foxtel, you'll also see your real-time flight data, hotel, restaurant and transport options at your destination, the latest weather and personalised information linked to your itinerary and Frequent Flyer account.

While relatively novel in the UK and Europe, Wi-Fi on flights is more common in the USA, with American, Delta and United Airlines all providing the service.

  • Ernesto Newman