Virgin Australia to Provide Inflight Movies, Music via On-Board WiFi

24th Dec 2012

Commencing this week, Virgin Australia will start trials its latest inflight service to its valued clients with the introduction of inflight wireless system on board its aircraft. The system would broadcast movies, music and TV shows and can be accessed by passengers through their laptop, tablet and smartphone.

According to an airline official, the Boeing 737-800, with a registration number VH-YID, is the designated aircraft for the 4-week trial. The airline is also offering apps for iPad and iPhone gratis, allowing its passengers to access into the programming.

The system, though, doesn't allow internet access.

Through iPhone and iPad apps, the passengers have access to over 300 hours of non-stop broadcast of free music, movies and TV shows.

Moreover, Virgin enhanced its apps allowing clients to access 'offboard' information anything about the airline including its route network.

Virgin also ensures that passengers, whose mobile devices running on MS Silverlight web software, can enjoy the new service with its wireless inflight entertainment system check web page, allowing them to access the programming.

The airline is planning to carry out the trial up to late January next year, which, by then, it will start deploying the service across its entire domestic network.

The airline is very positive about the success of the new service during its trial period prompting its CEO John Borghetti to predict that they will have most of its aircraft fitted out by the end of 2013.

Mr. Borghetti revealed that they will install the system first on the planes which currently have no IFE. The Airbus A330s will get the new system done last as they already have their own IFE currently in place. He clarified that all its aircraft will get the new wireless system as the latest standard IFE service of Virgin Australia flying its domestic network.

He pointed out that the installation of the new system requires an upgrade of hardware, including a content server and a number of wifi hotspots within the aircraft for hassle-free access. He also explained that, normally, upgrading the whole system would not take long.

The work is usually done when the aircraft is parked at night or not in use. An aircraft can be fitted out with the new system within a matter of two to three nights (or three days). With that speed, the whole fleet will get fitted within a year at the earliest or less than two years at the latest.