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Virgin floats a raft of IFE, aircraft and airport upgrades

written by australianaviation.com.au | February 23, 2012

Virgin Australia E-190s are to be fitted with business class seating. (Stuart Rutherford)

Virgin Australia will begin rolling out its new tablet based inflight entertainment system across most of its Boeing 737 and Embraer E-190 aircraft from April.

Based around Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1, the system will be provided free to business class travellers and be available for rent to economy passengers on flights over three hours. The iPad competitor will come preloaded with movies and other content.

The rollout is the first step in a two part overhaul of Virgin’s IFE system. Phase two will be based around a Wi-Fi system developed by Lufthansa that will allow passengers to access inflight entertainment via their own personal electronic devices.

In other announcements made on Thursday:

  • Virgin said will introduce business class cabins in its E-190 fleet later this year. The updated cabins will include six business class seats with a 38in seat pitch in a 2:1 layout, as well as a fixed divider between business and economy class cabins. Virgin has made expanding its business offerings a centrepiece of its effort to move from budget to full service airline.
  • Virgin also announced several initiatives meant to improve the airline’s core domestic terminals. Those include a premium valet and dedicated check-in service at Melbourne and Brisbane airports, a concierge service for premium class passengers at Gold Coast and Canberra airports, and an expansion of its Sydney and Melbourne terminals including building additional aerobridges at both airports for wide body Airbus A330 aircraft.




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