Press Release posted by Michelle Ruhfass on Tuesday December 02, 2008.
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Virgin America to equip multiple aircraft by year's end and complete the first fleet-wide rollout of Gogo by Q2 2009
ITASCA, Ill., Dec. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- In time for one of the busiest travel seasons of the year, Aircell(R) today announced that Gogo(R) Inflight Internet service is now commercially available for guests on select Virgin America flights. The launch marks the beginning of the carrier's fleet-wide commercial rollout of the service.
On Nov. 22, Virgin America, the California-based airline, hosted the successful beta launch of Gogo Inflight Internet and the first ever "air-to-ground" video stream to YouTube Live -- YouTube's first official real-world user event. Virgin America's first Gogo enabled plane (N638VA -- My Other Ride is a Spaceship) circled the skies above San Francisco with special guests, media, and all-star bloggers testing out Gogo on laptops, smartphones and PDAs. The first week of Gogo service was launched in beta as a complimentary surprise for guests over the Thanksgiving holiday. With the official commercial launch, pricing will be set at $12.95 for flights over 3 hours and $9.95 for flights of 3 hours or fewer.
Multiple Virgin America aircraft will offer Gogo by the end of 2008, with the service expected to be available on all Virgin America flights by the second quarter of 2009. The service will "go live" on each aircraft as it is equipped.
"By first committing to and now beginning to execute on a fleet-wide roll-out of Gogo, Virgin America is once again raising the bar for the standard of a superior inflight guest experience," said Jack Blumenstein, Aircell President and CEO. "With two U.S. airlines now offering the Gogo service and more coming soon, today marks the next step toward ubiquitous Inflight Internet."
The Gogo Inflight Internet system, in conjunction with Aircell's 3G network, turns Virgin America's aircraft into flying Wi-Fi hotspots, enabling passengers to surf the Web, email, instant message, access a corporate VPN and more. During the beta period and beyond, Virgin America is encouraging its frequent fliers and Wi-Fi advisory board members to provide feedback on the service. The early feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.
"Our guests are enthusiastic about the full, unedited Internet experience that Gogo provides -- and they expect nothing less from Virgin America's tech-savvy and innovative service," said Virgin America President and CEO David Cush. "We look forward to being the first U.S. carrier to offer the Gogo service fleet-wide and to the next phase of the project -- integrating mobile communications capabilities into our touch-screen entertainment platform RED(TM)."
The Gogo service uniquely complements Virgin America's host of next generation amenities, including power outlets at every seat, seat-to-seat chat, a digital food menu, and the award-winning digital touch-screen RED(TM) entertainment system.
Virgin America's Wi-Fi enabled planes can be tracked in real time via Google Maps at: http://wifitracker.virginamerica.com/.
Aircell(R) is the world's leading provider of airborne communications. As winner of an exclusive FCC frequency license in 2006, Aircell has built a revolutionary mobile broadband network for commercial and business aviation. In 2008, the Aircell Network and its inflight portal, Gogo(R), revolutionized the commercial airline passenger flight experience by delivering a robust Internet experience at 35,000 feet. In addition, the Aircell Network provides airlines with connectivity to operations and a path to enhanced cabin services such as video, audio, television and more. A similar feature set is available to Business aircraft operators. Aircell has facilities in Broomfield, Colorado, and Itasca, Illinois. Aircell's vision is to give everyone the ability to stay in touch, in flight(R). For more information about Aircell, please visit www.aircell.com.
Gogo(R), powered by Aircell, turns a commercial airplane into a Wi-Fi hotspot with true inflight Internet access. Passengers with Wi-Fi enabled devices, such as laptops, smartphones and PDAs, can surf the Web, check any e-mail, Instant Message, access a corporate VPN and more. For more information about Gogo, please visit www.gogoinflight.com.
Michelle is MobileBurn.com's Managing Editor, and is responsible for sourcing devices for reviews.