As we exclusively revealed last month, Virgin will launch new seat products on its A330 aircraft due for delivery next year (see online news May 25), and the carrier has now confirmed that there will be mobile phone and email access on board.
Virgin will partner with Panasonic Avionics Corporation and Aeromobile to enable mobile phone calls, text messages and emails to be made onboard, as well as offering a new in-flight entertainment system featuring touchscreen navigation, the ability to make and view passenger ratings for programmes, a catalogue of up to 300 hours of entertainment, and the ability to create playlists.
Other features will include a inseat USB port in all classes, allowing passengers to play their own music, photos and documents through the IFE system, and ports for iPod and camera/camcorder play back, which will be available in premium economy and Upper Class initially, and rolled out to economy class later in 2011.
There will also be live news updates, an interactive map, destination videos, user generated reviews and recommendations, and instant messaging between seats.
In addition Virgin says it is working on introducing seatback e-readers to display digital newspapers and magazines, and enhanced connectivity features including internet access.
The carrier has ordered 10 A330 aircraft, with the first due to be delivered in February 2011.
For more information visit virginatlantic.com.
Report by Mark Caswell