Virgin Australia has announced the start of a three-month trial of its inflight connectivity service in partnership with Gogo and satellite telecommunications provider Optus.
This is a three-month customer testing period of Gogo’s 2Ku technology on a single Boeing 737-800 aircraft.
This period will be used to gather feedback from customers, with a full installation of 2Ku across Virgin Australia’s fleet of Boeing 737-800, Airbus A330 and Boeing 777 aircraft planned following the customer testing period.
The technology will leverage existing Optus Ku-band satellites for domestic and New Zealand services and Intelsat and SES for all other international flights.
All Virgin Australia guests travelling on the Wi-Fi-enabled aircraft during the customer testing period will be able to enjoy Wi-Fi free of charge during their flight.
These guests will also be able to access streaming services Netflix, Stan and Pandora on their devices while in the air.
In addition, Virgin Australia is giving all guests who travel on the Wi-Fi-enabled aircraft three months’ access to Pandora Plus and Netflix on us. Guests who are new to Stan can also enjoy three months’ access included.
John Thomas, Group Executive Virgin Australia Airlines, said: “We are confident that by working with Gogo and Optus Satellite and using their proven technology we can deliver the best possible and most reliable connectivity and entertainment experience in the air.
“Virgin Australia guests will be able to stay connected with their family, friends and colleagues on board while also enjoying the fantastic entertainment offered by Netflix, Stan and Pandora.
“Inflight wi-fi also presents exciting opportunities for our team to deliver even more of the great customer service for which they are famous.
“The new connectivity solution will complement Virgin Australia’s popular onboard wireless inflight entertainment system, which revolutionised domestic and Trans-Tasman inflight entertainment when it was introduced in 2013.
“Feedback from our guests during the customer testing period will help us tailor our inflight wi-fi offering to their needs,” Mr Thomas said.
Gogo already successfully provides inflight connectivity for a number of airlines including several committed to the 2Ku technology. Airlines include Aer Lingus, Aeromexico, Air Canada, Air France KLM, American Airlines, British Airways, Delta Air Lines, GOL, Iberia, Japan Transoceanic Air and Virgin Atlantic.
Virgin Australia will finalise its business model after considering customer feedback and the results of the testing period.
- “Get Connected” tested Gogo’s 2Ku connectivity in the UK aboard the company’s test aircraft in 2015.