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Gogo to go fleetwide in Virgin America next quarter

16th March 2009 - 18:53 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


Virgin America has implemented the Aircell Gogo passenger broadband service in 13 aircraft – nearly half its fleet of 28 Airbus A320-family aircraft – and plans to complete the job before the end of June.

Passengers booking through the San Francisco-based low-fare carrier’s Website can now see which flights are Gogo-equipped. The service is available on all its Boston-Los Angeles/San Francisco flights and will be offered on all Washington DC-Los Angeles services from April 5.

In addition to the Virgin America implementation, Gogo is still being trialled aboard 15 American Airlines Boeing 767s, is rolling out with Delta, is due to be deployed on Air Canada cross-border flights this spring, and is earmarked for recent Delta acquisition Northwest.

“We continue to invest in our service with the addition of inflight Internet and improvements to our Red IFE offering,” Virgin America marketing VP Porter Gale said last week. “We set out to reinvent domestic air travel by offering more choices and amenities along with low fares. In the current climate travellers are looking for value – we think we offer the best value in terms of amenities, service and fares.”

Virgin America passengers pay $12.95 for Gogo on daytime flights exceeding three hours, $9.95 for daytime flights of less than three hours, $5.95 on redeye flights, and $7.95 for access via personal handheld devices. “Usage rates and the level of positive feedback have exceeded our expectations,” said Porter. “Passengers are even using the service to send tweets and Facebook updates.”

The airline is also upgrading Red, its Panasonic eFX-based IFE offering, which currently supplies each seat with 25 films, live TV, games, seat-to-seat chat, 3,000 MP3 music tracks, music videos and more. Software upgrades due to be introduced this summer are expected to add to functionality, reliability and speed. New content to arrive in the second half of the year will include additional games and films, a new television channel line-up and a best-of-the-Web selection. 


The Shephard News Team


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