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Tue, 4 Sept 2018

Virgin Atlantic Using Augmented Reality to Train Cabin Crew

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.

A 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.

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. Click to enlarge.

Don 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.” 

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