From late this month, the national carrier Qantas will start rolling out Netflix, Foxtel and Spotify on board its Wi-Fi enabled domestic flights, letting flyers view live sports, binge watch their favourite TV shows and have access to Spotify’s entire music library.

Qantas group executive of brand, marketing and corporate affairs, Olivia Wirth, said that fast, free internet on board its domestic flights would open up a range of options for customers inflight.

“We know that email, online shopping and general web browsing will be popular uses when we switch on Wi-Fi, but what a lot of people relish about flying is being able to catch up on their favourite TV shows or watch movies they didn’t get to see at the cinema,” she said.

“Foxtel and Netflix both have huge catalogues that are expanding all the time, so there will be no shortage of entertainment on board.

“The usage data from the collection of albums we already have on our aircraft shows that music is a great way for passengers to relax as they watch the world fly by. Spotify will open this up so you can listen to virtually any song you like.”

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The announcement comes as the airline continues to make big investments into its in-flight Wi-Fi technology.

 In November it installed ViaSat satellite-receiving equipment on its first 737 to be Wi-Fi enabled, which is expected to be switched on when hardware and software testing is complete.

The airline is also in talks to extend its Wi-Fi services across its international and regional fleets. But to do this, it has to find technological solutions that allow it to maintain quality coverage even when travelling over large stretches of water.

Many airlines offer internet on international flights, but often it’s not good enough for binge watching the Santa Clarita Diet and costs extra. However, this is likely to change.

Satellite Wi-Fi is considered the future of inflight Wi-Fi, and companies like ViaSat are solving complex problems that had previously made achieving fast speeds too difficult.

Spotify, Netflix and Foxtel are all paid subscription services, but under the deal with Qantas they will offer various methods to access the content for free while on board.

Foxtel will offer three days of free access to the Foxtel app whenever a person flies, Netflix will give new customers a 30-day free trial to access its entire catalogue and Spotify will have a 30-day free trial of its Premium service.

credit: Financial Review