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Virgin Aust launches wireless in-flight entertainment

September 18, 2013 Aviation, Headline News No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59A trial of Virgin Australia’s new wireless in-flight entertainment system proved so popular that the enabling App was downloaded close to 200,000 times.

The airline officially launched its new wireless system yesterday. It proclaimed the development as “a new era in the way travellers experience entertainment in the sky” and said the platform was the first of its kind in the Asia Pacific region. 250x250

It lets passengers stream content to their own devices, including smartphones, laptops and tablets, through in-built wireless technology on board.

Virgin Australia is extending the wireless innovation across its domestic and short-haul international network. It has fitted out 37 aircraft with the new technology, including planes flying to New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.

Developments in the US seem to be running on the same lines. Just last week in Anaheim, California, president and chief executive of Virgin America, David Cush, joined the chief executive of inflight internet technology company Gogo, Michael Small, for a live webcast from the Airline Passenger Experience Expo. The webcast’s  purpose: to announce new in-flight technology for passengers with Wi-Fi enabled devices.

Back in Australia, Virgin Australia chief customer officer Mark Hassell said in-flight entertainment was a key driver of customer satisfaction. “Our research shows that around 90% of our customers travel with at least one smartphone, laptop or tablet.

“We were instantly drawn to this technology because it represents a quantum change in the way entertainment is experienced in the sky. Our customers are the first in the region to be able to stream content to their very own personal device and the feedback we are receiving is fantastic.

“Wireless technology also gives us the freedom to constantly enhance the content and functionality, which is valued by customers who travel regularly on these short to medium-haul flights.”

The roll-out across Virgin Australia’s Boeing 737-800 and Embraer E190 fleet will be complete before the end of the year. The wireless in-flight entertainment system supports Wi-Fi-enabled Apple iOS devices (iPad; iPhone; iPod touch), Android devices (phone or tablet) and Windows laptops.

In the US, Gogo says its in-flight WiFi is now available on more than 1900 commercial aircraft.

“In-flight connectivity partners include American Airlines, Air Canada, AirTran Airways, Alaska Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines, United Airlines, US Airways and Virgin America,” Gogo said in a statement.

“In-flight entertainment partners include American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Scoot and US Airways,” it continued.

In Australia, passengers wanting to access the Virgin Australia system should  download the free “In-flight Entertainment by Virgin Australia” App to thier phones or tablets, or have the latest version of Microsoft Silverlight downloaded onto their  laptop.

Written by : Peter Needham

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