What mobile devices on Qantas and Virgin airlines means for marketing

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Travelling by air will no longer leave Australians out of the loop. Upon accepting the giant role mobile devices play in our modern lives, Australian carriers Qantas and Virgin have just last month given the all-clear for passengers to use any tablet or smart phone during flights, even during take-off and landing phases.

The news comes as the Department of Infrastructure and Development reported international passenger traffic to and from Australia numbering 2.576 million in June 2014, a significant rise of 4.4 per cent since last year. Domestic traffic remains just as healthy it appears, with passengers numbering some 4.7 million within the same period.

Passengers aboard domestic and international flights are now allowed to use their devices in any capacity as long as they remain in ‘airplane’ or ‘flight’ mode.

What does this mean for the business community?

In a recent blog post we reported that Australians devote 52% of screen time to mobile devices. With Qantas and Virgin’s proposal to the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) to allow the use of mobile devices during every stage of flight, it proves that the airlines are aware of the very real desire for their passengers to use their mobile devices in the air.

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Virgin has announced that it will allow access to their on-board Wi-Fi connection so that passengers can access movies and television shows during the flight. Virgin Australia CCO, Mark Hassell said that this step forward will allow Virgin’s customers to maximise their work or leisure time in-flight.

So why the sudden step forward, why have we been instructed to turn off our phones and tablets for all these years?

The CASA and the American Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) both agree that there is no evidence to support the notion that iPads, mobile phones or even Gameboys for that matter have ever been or will ever be the cause of a commercial airline incident. In fact, Australian airlines aren’t the first to allow gate-to-gate electronics use—some airlines in the United States, Europe and New Zealand have already allowed their use for some time.

We’re not at the point yet where jet-setters can send text messages or make phone calls on personal mobile devices, but this is an important step forward on the road to the truly connected executive at 30,000 feet.

In 2014 Australian airlines have acknowledged that mobile communication is the way forward. With Australians devoting an average of 29 hours per month to smart phones (browsing the net and apps use) and some 24 hours to tablets (browsing and apps), the trend towards the accommodating of personal devices is set to continue.


With increased mobile screen time being devoted to social apps like Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and Twitter, successful marketing in 2014 requires the engagement of this growing mobile audience.

Making themost of social media to promote brands, products or services isn’t difficult. The use of owned media channels is on the rise and good content marketers are already taking advantage of the great potential offered by such channels.

The team at Infodec Communications are public relations and content marketing experts. Our marketing professionals can provide solutions for any offline or online communications problem. Lost for words? Contact us today to discuss what we can do for your business.

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