Virgin Atlantic has started using augmented
reality (AR) to train cabin crew.
As part of an innovation collaboration with
SITA, the airline is using an iOS app that allows cabin crew to walk through and acquaint themselves with the
layout of Virgin Atlantic’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft without
even visiting the airport or getting onto the plane.
The app complements
the existing classroom-based training and allows crew
members to see the cabin projected as a portal in front of them
and are able ‘walk into’ the cabin.
full-size view of the interior cabin is simulated, giving crew a feel for their
new working environment, including accurate spatial awareness.
This allows the airline to train crew on new aircraft from the airline’s headquarters in Crawley, London.
Langford, CIO of Virgin Atlantic, said, “Today innovation is the
lifeblood of a modern airline. 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.”
Over the past decade, SITA and Virgin Atlantic have
often worked together to drive innovation in technology. In 2013,
the two companies partnered to develop Google Glass
and Sony Smartwatch technology enabling Virgin Atlantic concierge
staff in the airline's Upper Class Wing to deliver high tech and personalized customer service.
Augmented reality also presents several interesting use
cases in the air transport industry, ranging from sales, training,
operations and improvement to the passenger experience. SITA Lab,
SITA's strategic technology research arm, and Virgin Atlantic have
teamed up to identify and test some of the more promising use
cases, starting with the crew training app.
Gustavo Pina, Head of SITA Lab,
said, “SITA Lab has identified augmented reality as one of the
emerging technologies that will benefit the air transport in the
years to come. 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.”