VIDEO: Virgin Atlantic reveals in-flight connectivity plan
By Mary Kirby on June 16, 2010 in Air Transport, In-flight Entertainment/Communications, Mobile Applications, Original Equipment Manufacturers
Seriously, though, Virgin Atlantic’s deal with Panasonic Avionics to bring in-flight connectivity to its fleet is interesting on a number of levels.
For starters, Virgin Atlantic founder Richard Branson and CEO Steve Ridgway have made clear that they want passengers to be able to experience in the air what they experience on the ground, and they are letting Panasonic – and the firm’s AeroMobile partner – deal with the particulars.
Those particulars include working with airframers on making the solution line-fit offerable (AeroMobile and Panasonic have been trying for years and they are hopeful in achieving this goal), and on deciding if Ku-band or Ka-band-based connectivity will ultimately be fitted to Virgin’s aircraft.
Initially, however, Panasonic is tasked with bringing Inmarsat SwiftBroadband-supported in-flight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) systems, together with AeroMobile in-flight mobile connectivity, to Virgin Atlantic passengers in the near-term (first the carrier’s new Airbus A330s, then the Boeing 747s and then the new Boeing 787 twinjets).
Branson notes that road warriors could accomplish several more hours of work during flight if they had high-speed Internet at their beck and call. Just serve up that connectivity with a nice, cold drink, okay? And no Virgin strawberry daiquiris, please!
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