Virgin Australia launched big news this week that is really set to take off, particularly amongst the business traveller community. The airline announced details and key timings for its in-flight wireless internet rollout across both domestic and international aircraft. Exciting news for the regular flyers out there, and an announcement which will certainly set the benchmark in Australia where the airline will be the only home based carrier to offer wifi internationally.
Virgin Australia CEO John Borghetti explained that the company wants to provide the world's most rewarding travel experience, and they know that enabling guests to remained connected whilst flying is pivotal to that.
The grand plan will result in over 90 percent of Virgin Australia's impressive fleet fitted out with the new technology, with installation already underway. The Boeing 737 aircraft are first to receive the special treatment, with Boeing 777 set to follow this October. Virgin foresees the service being active across the full 737 fleet and the majority of their 737 by the end of 2018, with the Airbus A330 set for completion late 2019.
The airline will be working in partnership with both Optus Satellite services and Gogo - a leading in-flight connectivity provider. The innovative technology is called Gogo2Ku which will provide a service that is on par with what guests currently use on the ground, allowing them to stay connected anywhere the fleet go, gate to gate. And yes, that does mean the ability to stream video content while at 40,000 feet.. Hello Netflix.
While this highly exciting temptation to catch up on Game of Thrones or sneak in a quick doco is incredibly appealing, the original trial saw most customers using the service to check emails and social media. Accessing news and sending text messages were also heavily reported behaviours, with overall customer experience very strong - 77 percent reported a high level of satisfaction with the specific in-flight wifi service. By all accounts it's a very positive step into the technology fuelled future, and is expected to be well received, especially by all those loyal Velocity members out there.