LONDON – British Carrier Virgin Atlantic has announced today that they will be bringing in Augmented Reality (AR) training for their cabin crew.

The airline says it will allow the cabin crew being trained to already know and have experienced the layout of the cabin before they have even stepped onto the plane.

The software has been created in partnership with SITA for Apple devices is completely 3D and allow the students to “walk into” the cabin of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

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This gives them “the full-size view of the interior cabin, giving the crew a feel for their new working environment, including accurate spatial awareness”.

Virgin said that the technology would complement classroom-based training, enabling the 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”.

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 industry in the years to come.”

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“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”, he added.

“This project is a vital step in that journey of exploration”, he concluded.

Augmented reality presents server interesting use cases in the air transport industry, ranging from operation, training, sales and improving the passenger experience, which is exactly what SITA and Virgin Atlantic did back in 2013.

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They worked together to create their award-winning Google Glass and Sony Smartwatch technology enabling Virgin Atlantic’s concierge staff in the airline’s upper-class wing to deliver the highest tech and personalized customer care.

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”, he added.

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SITA has long been a partner in exploring the frontiers of technology and this AR application is no exception”, he concluded.

There is no doubt now with this new technology being used that other airlines will not start to introduce similar products or even look to develop full Virtual Reality training environments for cabin crew.

Like most things in aviation, when the technology improves so does the quality of the service and the experience.