ARINC and Leading IFE Suppliers Launch Live Text News Service on Virgin Atlantic

Virgin Atlantic Airways has just introduced something entirely new for its passengers: the latest breaking news of world events, sports, business, weather and entertainment-all delivered right to their seats.

The new live text news service was developed by ARINC Incorporated in collaboration with the airline and Inflight Productions, Sky News, and eFlyte. Virgin Atlantic passengers can now keep up with events in the world below-even as they travel at 35,000 feet.

Passengers can read the latest sports scores, business reports, world headlines, weather forecasts-even celebrity gossip. The all-text news stories are prepared by Sky News or by Virgin Atlantic, and are updated hourly.

"People are routinely surrounded by news in their daily lives, so there is no reason they should be out of touch when they fly," stated David Tharp, Virgin Atlantic Senior Manager, Development and Logistics. "Our passengers are extremely pleased to have access to the latest news at their seats, any time during their flight."

"ARINC is proud to play a major part in delivering this breakthrough in passenger services, in conjunction with leading suppliers in the inflight entertainment industry," said Ed Montgomery, Managing Director, ARINC, Europe, Middle East and Africa. "Live text news marks the latest innovation by Virgin Atlantic, and it is one more achievement that will help differentiate Virgin Atlantic’s passenger services from competitors."

ARINC provides the satellite connectivity and systems integration for live text news. It is currently rolled out on Virgin aircraft equipped with Panasonic S3000 in-flight entertainment systems, and updates are planned for 2000E systems in the near future.

"ARINC is proud of its close relationship with Virgin, and we view this as just the initial phase of providing live news and sports to aircraft," continued Montgomery. "When greater bandwidth becomes available through Inmarsat Broadband services, the Live Text News service can be easily upgraded to support video news bulletins and sports flashes."