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Virgin Atlantic to offer wi-fi on all transatlantic flights

Wednesday, September 6th 2017 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

Virgin Atlantic has become the first European airline to offer wi-fi on all of its flights.

Thanks to technologies developed by Panasonic and in-flight entertainment provider Gogo, connectivity is now available above 10,000ft.

This means passengers will be able to get online shortly after take-off and stay connected until just before landing.

Providing connectivity on long-haul flights travelling over large expanses of ocean is a challenge to airlines as the signal cannot come from the ground as it would when flying over Europe or the US, but has to be transmitted to aircraft from satellites.

Virgin Atlantics’s entire fleet of 39 aircraft now offer connectivity, but there are slight variations on what you get for your money depending on what plane you are on.

Customers travelling on a 787 will be able to access wi-fi from Panasonic; £4.99 will get you 40MB of data and £14.99 will give you 150MB.

If you’re travelling on an A330, A340 or 747, you’ll be given a range of wi-fi options powered by Gogo.

A messaging pass, which gives you access to messaging services throughout the flight, is £2.99. Full internet access is £4.99 for one hour or £14.99 for the duration of the flight.

Mark Anderson, executive vice president of Customer at Virgin Atlantic, said: “Customers flying around the world with Virgin Atlantic can work and play throughout their flight as we become the first airline in Europe to offer a fully wi-fi enabled fleet.

'Something special'

“Innovation has always been in our blood and we’ve worked closely with wi-fi providers to develop the fastest, most reliable connection across the Atlantic, and are the first carrier to offer wi-fi 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.”

British Airways will start offering wi-fi on its short-haul flights later this year using Europe’s first 4G in-flight network. It will also roll out wi-fi on its long-haul fleet over the next two years.

BA will offer customers a choice between Simply Connect, which supports basic web browsing, email and instant messaging, and Connect Plus, which provides a faster connection speed and supports streaming services.

Prices will start at £4.99 for the basic service and £7.99 for faster browsing and streaming.

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