Australia's Qantas considers Net access on-board

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Qantas, Australia's major international airline, has picked U.S. company Interactive Flight Technologies as its "preferred tenderer" to fit its long-haul Boeing 747s and 767s with in-flight entertainment systems, including Internet access, gambling and advertising.

The cost could be up to $8m to fit each aircraft - $250m for its 747 fleet alone. Qantas, cautious after teething problems experienced by other airlines, will not make a final decision until February. If in-flight gambling is introduced, both wins and losses are likely to be restricted to $350, playing common casino games like blackjack, roulette and poker. Individual video screens will provide credit card facilities to fund the gambling, shopping and other services such as Internet access.

Copyright January 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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