British Airways has partnered SkyLights to offer some passengers their own 3D cinema in the skies as the airline trials a virtual reality (VR) headset.
From now till end 2019, customers travelling on select flights in first class from London Heathrow to New York JFK will be able to enjoy a selection of award-winning films, documentaries and travel programmes in 2D, 3D or 360-degree formats.
The AlloSky headsets from VR provider SkyLights, a former alumni of British Airways’ parent company IAG’s Hangar 51 startup accelerator programme, allow customers to fully immerse themselves in 3D view regardless of their seating position.
British Airways said it is the first UK airline to trial the technology after working with experts to select a range of therapeutic programmes, including guided meditation and sound therapy, specifically designed for customers who have a fear of flying.
Sajida Ismail, head of inflight product at British Airways, said that “VR has the power to revolutionise inflight entertainment” as the airline looks to enhance the customer journey both on the ground and in the air.
Earlier this year, British Airways trialled the technology at Heathrow Terminal 5, giving customers a glimpse of the Club World cabin through VR.
British Airways said it is investing £6.5 billion (US$7.8 billion) on airline amenities over five years, including the installation of Wi-Fi and power in every aircraft seat, fitting 128 longhaul aircraft with new interiors and taking delivery of 72 new aircraft. The airline recently introduced its Club Suite, a new business class seat with direct aisle access.