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Virgin Oz Plans More Wi-Fi

Virgin Australia aims to expand its currently free in-flight Internet service to cover the USA and Asia while also building up its domestic fleet of Wi-Fi equipped jets, according to David Flynn’s online Australian Business Traveller report.

The airline, currently nearing the end of a three-month trial, has just upgraded its second Boeing 737 with Gogo’s 2Ku technology, Biz Traveller says.

But it quotes CEO John Borghetti as saying “We’ll be doing the whole fleet, Airbus A330s and Boeing 777s, and we’ll have Wi-Fi on Asia and US routes soon” – a snippet delivered to Flynn during a complimentary Virgin flight to Hong Kong.

Flynn adds that Virgin hasn’t revealed if the service will remain free after the trial period, but it is believed to be leaning towards letting travellers choose between two levels of service: a basic connection suitable for Web browsing, e-mail and social media; and a high-speed pipeline for streaming video from the likes of Netflix.

In a survey sent to some Virgin Australia passengers earlier this year, the airline pitched a basic connection at between A$8 and $14 per flight, with the high speed alternative at $15 to $21.

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