UK long-haul carrier Virgin Atlantic has completed its Wi-Fi roll-out, which the airline said makes it the first European airline to be fully connected.

Virgin Atlantic has equipped 39 aircraft under the roll out, fitting out its Boeing 787s with equipment from Panasonic and its Airbus A330s, 747s and A340-600s with Gogo technology.

The service is now available on up to 39 daily transatlantic flights, operated by Virgin Atlantic and its US joint-venture partner Delta Air Lines. Virgin said this positions it a year ahead of its European long-haul rivals.

“Customers flying around the world with Virgin Atlantic can work and play throughout their flight as we become the first airline in Europe to offer a fully Wi-Fi enabled fleet. Innovation has always been in our blood and we’ve worked closely with Wi-Fi providers to develop the fastest, most reliable connection across the Atlantic, and are the first carrier to offer Wi-Fi between the UK and the Caribbean, China and Africa,” Virgin Atlantic EVP- customers Mark Anderson said.

Virgin charges for its onboard Wi-Fi, depending on usage and the aircraft type. On its A330s, A340s and 747s, Virgin charges £2.99 ($3.90) for messaging (Messaging Pass), £4.99 for an hour’s internet access (Wi-Fi light) and £14.99 for full-flight access (Wi-Fi max).

On the 787s, there is no Messaging Pass. Wi-Fi light and Wi-Fi max are priced the same, but allow for 40MB and 150MB of data, respectively.

“Results so far have shown that 42% of customers opt for the Wi-Fi max package, which lasts the entire flight, and the most popular routes for Wi-Fi use are London Heathrow to New York JFK, San Francisco and Atlanta,” Virgin said.

Victoria Moores victoria.moores@penton.com