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Virgin Australia takes off with inflight wi-fi trials


Virgin Australia has just taken to the skies to start a three-month trial of inflight wi-fi on a Boeing 737-800 aircraft to allow passengers to stay connected and enjoying streaming video on demand services.

Virgin Australia has partnered inflight connectivity provider Gogo and Optus to create the inflight wi-fi network to access content from Netflix, Stan and Pandora.

“We are thrilled to commence customer testing of our inflight wi-fi today. We want to ensure that guests can stay reliably connected in the air while also enjoying the fantastic entertainment and customer service for which Virgin Australia is well known,” said John Thomas, Virgin Australia’s group executive.

“We’re looking forward to receiving guest feedback about our inflight connectivity over the next three months to ensure we are able to offer the best possible service in the sky.”

Gogo uses a streamlined dual-antenna (one forward link and one return link) to deliver simultaneous transmissions.

Gogo already provides inflight wi-fi for Virgin Australia’s partner airlines in the US including Delta airlines.

The connectivity will come from five Optus satellites which are currently in a geo-stationary orbit over Australia.

Guests travelling on Virgin Australia’s wi-fi enabled aircraft will receive a free three-month access to Pandora and Netflix.

Virgin Australia will conduct inflight wi-fi testing and listen to customer feedback during the three-month trial period before finalising its business model.

Passengers travelling on an aircraft with in-flight wi-fi will be notified that the network is available for their use and they will be given complete instructions on how to connect their mobile devices.