Virgin America to evaluate Aircell's new video download service

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Virgin America intends to evaluate Aircell's new video download service, but does not believe the solution "will be as much of a model for us" as the carrier already offers a broad selection of in-flight entertainment (IFE) content to passengers.

The Aircell service, currently dubbed the 'Gogo Video Client', allows passengers to download movies, television shows and other content for a fee on aircraft equipped with its Gogo in-flight broadband solution. The content is stored on Aircell's onboard servers.

San Francisco-based Virgin America currently offers Gogo - in addition to touch-screen, in-seat IFE - across its entire Airbus narrowbody fleet. Its IFE system, known as 'Red', features over 25 on-demand movies at every seat. Prices range from $6 to $8 per film.

"Thus far our guests are happy with the selections we have, which is significantly larger [with more latest release films] than your typical in-flight library-and our screens are the largest in the domestic skies [9in]," says a Virgin America spokeswoman.

"That said, we're always open to offering our guests more options - rather than fewer - so we'll be evaluating it and seeing what the reaction is."

Aircell expects to roll out the video download service in the coming months. An Aircell spokesman says the price range being studied by Aircell is from $2.99 to $5.99.