… first airline in Europe to offer WiFi across entire fleet
By Sade Williams
Virgin Atlantic is the first carrier ever to bring Wifi to Nigeria. Virgin Atlantic has also become the first carrier in Europe to offer WiFi across its entire fleet – ensuring customers can remain connected across flights to and from the US, Caribbean, Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
From today, millions of customers travelling with Virgin Atlantic will be able to email, browse and socialise at 35,000ft from as little as £2.99 as the airline completes its ambitious WiFi programme – at least a year ahead of other European long haul carriers.
To celebrate being the first European airline to boast a fully WiFi connected fleet, Virgin Atlantic will be kicking off a series of fun events from the sky, connecting together with #LiveFromVirgin.
One of the first #LiveFromVirgin events will be a comedy set in the sky.
Using a combination of Panasonic and Gogo technology, WiFi is now available across the fleet of 39 aircraft and connectivity is available above 10,000ft so customers will be able to connect shortly after take-off, and remain online until shortly before landing.
Results so far have shown that 42% of customers opt for the WiFi max package which lasts the entire flight, and the most popular routes for WiFi use are London Heathrow to New York (JFK), San Francisco and Atlanta.
Commenting on the development, Samuel Lindfield, Nigeria Country Manager, at Virgin Atlantic, said:
“From today customers flying from Lagos to London and around the world with Virgin Atlantic can work and play throughout their flight as we become the first airline in Lagos and Europe to offer a fully WiFi enabled fleet.
“Innovation has always been in our blood and we’ve worked closely with WiFi providers to develop the fastest, most reliable connection across the Atlantic, and are the first carrier to offer WiFi between the UK and the Caribbean, China and Africa.
“And of course we wouldn’t be Virgin Atlantic if we weren’t going to signify this moment with something special, so we’ve planned a summer of spectacular #LiveFromVirgin events for our customers. Keep an eye out on our social channels for your chance to get involved.”
Whilst WiFi has been commonplace on domestic carriers there’s been a challenge for the industry to find reliable connections over vast expanses of ocean – such as the Atlantic. Unlike flying over Europe or the US the signal cannot come from the ground, and instead has to be transmitted to aircraft from satellites.
The airline is using a combination of two WiFi providers across the network; customers travelling on the 787 will use WiFi from Panasonic, while the A330s, 747s, A340-600s are powered by Gogo technology.
|Aircraft||Passes||Prices||What you get|
|787||WiFi light||£4.99||40MB data|
|WiFi max||£14.99||150MB data|
|A330, A340, 747||Messaging Pass||£2.99||Messaging access throughout flight|
|WiFi light||£4.99||One hour internet access|
|WiFi max||£14.99||Full flight internet access
As of today, Virgin Atlantic and partner Delta Air Lines will be the only fully connected transatlantic joint venture – keeping business customers and holidaymakers connected on up to 39 transatlantic flights per day.