Bright start for Virgin Atlantic's Cabin Connect trial

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Initial results from Virgin Atlantic' live trial of the Arinc Cabin Connect in-flight broadband service is attracting commercially viable volumes of usage by passengers using smartphones and tablet computers.

The trial has been running four months on Virgin's Airbus A330 routes to Washington DC, New York and Barbados.

ARINC's director satellite solutions and cabin services Lee Costin says: "We are delighted that the process is running smoothly and the airline is reporting a high degree of satisfaction."

Virgin's customer experience manager Alan Penlington says: "We've been pleased with the response from passengers to our in-flight connectivity trial, with the system working well technically, usage numbers strong and increasing, and great ad-hoc feedback being received."

The system uses the aircraft's existing Cobham HGA 7001 antenna, Honeywell MCS7200 terminal and a single-channel Inmarsat SwiftBroadband connection. Passengers log in through a wireless hotspot portal from their seats.