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Photo: Iberia / Manuel Suárez

Iberia to offer virtual reality on flights

Together with the company Inflight VR, the airline plans to expand its inflight entertainment to include VR and 3D content.

Iberia and Inflight VR, a company specialised in applying virtual reality to the travel industry, have joined forces to take VR technology onto Iberia’s aircraft.

Following a trial period, virtual reality devices will be available to passengers on the two daily Madrid-New York flights that the Spanish flag carrier operates with Airbus A350-900 aircraft, and on the daily Madrid-Tel Aviv flight in an Airbus A330-200.

The second-generation Pico devices will be available for rental during the flights, letting viewers experience three-dimensional content in games, films, city travelogues and documentaries such as dives into the depths of the Red Sea.

Iberia and Inflight have entered into a six-month trial agreement for the service, and when the results are examined a decision will be taken on expanding it to other medium and long-haul routes.

Safe use
Founded in 2015, Inflight VR specialises in the application of virtual reality to the travel industry, especially inflight applications.

At its premises in Munich and Barcelona, it is developing software for an entertainment programme that will allow for the safe use of virtual reality devices in a variety of means of transport.

“We think virtual reality has great potential and can change the air passenger experience as a part of the inflight entertainment programme,” says Nikolas Jaeger, Inflight VR’s founder and managing director.

“The viewer is no longer a mere observer but can take a stroll in the city he or she will be visiting, or simply relax before arriving at the destination.”
Ignacio Toval, Iberia’s digital transformation director, said that he learned about Inflight VR through Hangar 51, a start-up accelerator programme launched by parent company IAG in 2016.

“Since 2017, we’ve been working together to develop a VR solution that can offer a new experience to our customers,” he explained.

“An important aspect of Iberia’s digital transformation push lies in the incorporation of new technologies and digital innovation during the entire travel experience, from the moment they think about buying a ticket to arrival at the destination.”

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