Enjoy All Your Tech, Web, And Video From The Air
Virgin Atlantic and Panasonic Avionics have teamed up to deliver Internet access to in-flight passengers. The deal will cost over $70 million and will combine Panasonic’s eX2 in-flight entertainment (pictured) and eXPhone products into Virgin Atlantic’s A330 planes. While this is specifically for the A330 plane, other aircraft will be added in time. The deal allows passengers to place calls, send and receive text messages as well as access e-mail via their own smartphones and mobile devices.
Panasonic Avionics will use GSM phone partner AeroMobile to provide the network. The eX3 system brought by Panasonic will also allow passengers to rate the onboard films, and read comments and reviews. To make flying a little easier, passengers will be given the option to search over 300 hours of movies, music, and TV shows and save a playlist to view during a flight. Wow, talk about luxury!
The business class passengers will also have the option of plugging their gadgets into the seat-back screens to view their own music, videos, documents or photos. All of this will be done via USB (included in all seats.) The first ten A330 aircrafts with the system will arrive in February 2011. Each plane will be able to seat 313 passengers and will occasionally take international routes. Prices have not yet been announced to what this new technology will cost its patrons. I’m thinking it’s 2011, and it’s about damn time we can enjoy our high tech in the air!