Virgin Atlantic debuts moving map on steroids with Boeing 787-9


Virgin Atlantic’s new Boeing 787-9 boasts a number of passenger pleasing features, including a new iteration of the carrier’s Upper Class suites, Panasonic Avionics-provided Ku-band satellite-supported airborne connectivity plus Panasonic’s latest generation, Android-based eX3 inflight entertainment system. But the 787 also features a three-dimensional moving map on steroids.

The moving map represents the latest content release of Betria Interactive’s FlightPath3D software, which boasts a highly responsive, fully interactive touch display interface; a detailed and realistic aircraft model and livery with the carrier’s branding scheme and color palate; a selectable 3D perspective interface including passenger windows, cockpit, plane tracking and free roaming modes; and global satellite map coverage, including a global night-time view that shows city lights.

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The IFE on Virgin’s 787-9 is Panasonic eX3

Other notable attributes include an auto-play flight preview script that runs during boarding and shows departure airport takeoff, full flight path and destination airport landing; and, in Upper Class, remote application control using Panasonic’s new video handset. The product’s City Destination Guide – which features detailed street level map and building details for 36 of the airline’s destination cities, plus hundreds of interactive point-of-interest icons with links to summary information overlays – can be regularly updated to ensure the map and information displays remain current and relevant.

The moving map on any IFE system is usually one of the most popular channels on board. But Betria’s 3D moving map represents a serious step up in functionality. Betria’s product development expert David Dyrnaes tells RGN that Virgin Atlantic is “very happy” with the new service.

Other customers of prior FlightPath3D releases include Norwegian and Air France-KLM. In the future, FlightPath3D may also help airlines make money. Betria management previously suggested that FlightPath3D, running on connected IFE, could ultimately support a retail platform in which passengers could make purchases at different waypoints on the map en route to the destination.

For now, says Dyrnaes, “We are not currently planning to include an e-commerce engine but we will include integrated lead generation and referral into the existing onboard credit card purchasing system from our City Destination Guide point-of-interests and micro-sites that are integrated into the map. It is equivalent to a qualified referral feature in the online advertising world.”