The luxury travel segment is very profitable for operators and the airlines but they require to create new experiences continually to stay ahead of the competition. Qantas announced the introduction of a virtual world to the flying experience of their first class passengers. The new initiative will add another dimension to the in-flight entertainment and take it to the next level. Qantas is partnering with Samsung for this innovative initiative. They are going to incorporate Samsung’s Virtual Reality goggles i.e. the Samsung Gear VR in the upgraded in flight entertainment system in selective flights initially. This is going to be a first for the airline industry and if the concept is successful it is sure to be followed by other airlines.
The gear VR will first be introduced in some of their Airbus A380 aircraft along with their first class lounges at Sydney and Melbourne Airports. It is being done on a pilot basis as a test run for three months to check the response from their customers. If the customer feedback is positive then the concept can be rolled out on all the long haul aircrafts in their fleet. Olivia Wirth, Qantas Group Executive, Brand, Marketing & Corporate Affairs is very excited about the concept. According to her this technology gives them a completely new way to connect with their customers. The passenger now has a choice of a virtual tour of Qantas’ new Los Angeles First Lounge or experience an A380 landing from the tarmac.
Qantas is already working on creating content for this new device. They are working closely with Jaunt who have produced some live action content including destination footage. Amongst the tourism groups, Tourism NT has come forward to partner with Qantas and created a special 3D experience from Kakadu National Park. Samsung is also confident that the VR experience will enhance the customer satisfaction of Qantas passengers and in the process give them a promotional boost. It is a win-win situation for both the partners involved in this project. The Samsung VR headsets will first be introduced in the First Class Lounge in Sydney and Melbourne in mid-February and then in the first class cabins on some of A380 aircrafts in mid March.