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Virgin partners with ABC for IFE content

written by australianaviation.com.au | November 20, 2014
Passengers on Virgin 737 fleet will soon be able to watch ABC news on the airline's wireless entertainment app . (Lance Broad)
Passengers on Virgin 737 fleet will soon be able to watch ABC news on the airline’s wireless entertainment app. (Lance Broad)

Passengers will be able to watch ABC television programs, including new bulletins, on board Virgin Australia flights as part of a new commercial deal between the airline and the national broadcaster.

Virgin from November 1 added three 15-minute news bulletins from the ABC on its seat-back entertainment system on board its widebody Boeing 777-300ER and Airbus A330-300 aircraft.

From early 2015, the airline will offer three 90-second news bulletins on its wireless in-flight entertainment app for passengers travelling on Virgin’s Boeing 737 and Embraer E190 fleet.

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The bulletins cover news and weather, sport, business and finance, Virgin said on Thursday.

While no specific programs have been announced, the partnership also included a selection of other ABC programming due to be rolled out in early 2015.

“I am thrilled that ABC Commercial are to partner with Virgin Australia and offer such a great news service, along with the variety of ABC comedy, drama and children’s programming to travellers on Virgin Australia flights,” ABC Commercial director Robert Patterson said in a statement.

The airline’s in-flight entertainment app, which allows passengers to watch content on their own devices streamed from an on-board server, has been downloaded about 1.4 million times since it launched in January 2013, Virgin said.

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Virgin chief customer officer Mark Hassell said the ABC was “one of the most comprehensive and reputable news services in Australia”.

“We are delighted to be working with the ABC to better service the needs of our business and leisure travellers and look forward to continuing to expand this unique offering into the future,” Hassell said in a statement.

Qantas recently ended its long-time association with the Nine Network of Australia in favour of a new partnership with Sky News Australia, Fox Sports and Foxtel.

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