Virgin Blue has joined forces with Australia’s leading subscription television providers FOXTEL and AUSTAR and “LiveTV” of the United States, to introduce an exciting new generation of “LIVE” satellite TV in-flight entertainment.
Travellers will be able to watch live television news and premium sporting events at 40,000 feet, along with a selection of the best comedy, lifestyle, children’s, music, documentaries and general entertainment channels provided by FOXTEL and AUSTAR.
These new services will be broadcast live via satellite to the aircraft and displayed on individual, back-of-seat screens.
Called “Live2Air”, the services will offer the choice of 24 FOXTEL and AUSTAR channels, including Sky News Australia, CNN, THE COMEDY CHANNEL, FOX SPORTS 1 and 2 and Nickelodeon, and will cost no more than $5 for unlimited use during the entire flight.
Virgin Blue has worked with the US technology provider “LiveTV” for more than a year so as to be the first airline outside North America to harness the innovation, which will be delivered under exclusive licence with Virgin Blue.
Virgin Blue, FOXTEL and AUSTAR will begin phasing in the new technology by mid 2005 subject to regulatory approval from the Civil Aviation Safety Authority.
In the meantime the service will be demonstrated in Virgin Blue airport lounges to allow Blue Room visitors a glimpse into the future of in-flight entertainment.
Virgin Blue Chief Executive Brett Godfrey said, “We simply couldn’t wait for the future, “Live2Air” is a generational leap forward in on-board entertainment. When we launched the airline over four years ago, it was our intent to offer this product but the technology literally wasn’t in orbit over Australia to offer real-time broadcasts. Now that the technology and satellite coverage is available from FOXTEL and AUSTAR we are excited to be the first and only airline in the Southern Hemisphere to take in-flight entertainment to a whole new level.”
FOXTEL Chief Executive Kim Williams said that FOXTEL was delighted to bring the expanded choice and exclusive content it offers television viewers at home to travellers on Virgin Blue.
“Watching live sport, catching the breaking news or the stock market close as you fly will be a totally new and unique experience in Australia,” Mr Williams said.
“FOXTEL is at the forefront of innovation in television and this is an important and very exciting development for us, our subscription television colleagues, and most particularly consumers.”
CEO of AUSTAR John Porter said “Just as AUSTAR is about innovation, value and choice, this new Virgin Blue venture will give Australians access to quality programming whether they’re at home or in the sky.”
“Whether you are in regional, rural or metropolitan Australia, you can benefit from this exciting new technological advance,” Mr Porter said.