Virgin Atlantic introduces augmented reality to train crew members

Virgin Atlantic is introducing augmented reality into its training process for cabin crew through an app that allows crew members to familiarise themselves with new aircraft.

Cabin crew can walk through and get to know the layout of Virgin Atlantic’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft without even visiting the airport or getting onto the plane thanks to the app, developed in partnership with leading global IT provider SITA. This allows crew members to see the cabin and walk around it in the AR app, which simulates a full-size view of the interior cabin.

“Today, innovation is the lifeblood of a modern airline,” chief information officer Don Langford said. “New technologies such as augmented reality hold out the promise to better manage our airline operations while providing an enriched experience to our increasingly tech-savvy passengers. SITA has long been a partner in exploring the frontiers of technology and this AR application is no exception.”

The app will allow Virgin Atlantic to train crew on new aircraft in a fun and engaging way from their headquarters in Crawley, West Sussex.

Augmented reality has several possible uses for airlines, from sales, training and operations to improvement in the passenger experience. Virgin Atlantic and SITA Lab, SITA’s technology research arm, have teamed up to identify and test some of the promising uses, starting with this crew training app.

“SITA Lab has identified augmented reality as one of the emerging technologies that will benefit the air transport in the years to come,” said Gustavo Pina, head of SITA Lab. “Working with pioneering airlines such as Virgin Atlantic makes it possible for SITA Lab to really explore the potential of augmented reality and evaluate its business benefits. This project is a vital step in that journey of exploration.”

Virgin Atlantic has worked hard over the last decade to drive innovation in technology, previously experimenting with Google Glass and Sony Smartwatch technology to enable concierge staff in its Upper Class Wing to deliver the industry’s most high tech and personalised customer service. Find out more about how Virgin Atlantic is using technology and book your next flight with the airline on the Virgin Atlantic website.

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