Soo Kim, The Daily Telegraph, August 7, 2013
Virgin Atlantic passengers are to be entertained with live comedy and music on board domestic flights from Heathrow to Manchester and Edinburgh.
Passengers on selected Virgin Atlantic’s Little Red flights, the airline’s new domestic flight services which began earlier this year, will see live entertainment during their journey, starting with stand-up comedy this month.
Comedians en route to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival will have the chance to test their material at 30,000 feet in the air as a warm-up for their festival gigs.
Virgin will also introduce a series of live music acts on Little Red flights from September, aiming to pay homage to the “rich music scenes in Scotland and Manchester".
The full line-up of acts will be revealed through Virgin’s social media channels but the specifics of exactly which flights will offer the live performances will remain undisclosed, with the hope of creating an unexpected "truly one of a kind experience" for passengers.
The airline wanted to “shake up domestic flying in the UK” with the new entertainment programme, said Virgin Atlantic founder Sir Richard Branson.
“In true Virgin Atlantic spirit we’re doing something a little different and providing our passengers with a line-up of gigs to ensure we offer a truly unforgettable flying experience on Little Red,” he added.
The company has attempted to entice passengers with a string of other gimmicks this year, including in-flight cocktails to its Upper Class passengers, which can be served on a specially-made cocktail rest or sipped over an extravagant bar decorated with Swarovski crystals.
The airline also exhibited the world’s first airborne gallery in February, where Virgin’s Upper Class passengers on flights between London and New York were able to take a virtual tour of works from British artist Ben Eine and make a duty-free purchase of works which ranged in price from £2,000 to £15,000.
Last year, Virgin Atlantic became the first airline in Britain to offer in-flight mobile phone calls, texts and web access in the air, charging passengers approximately the same as normal roaming charges for mobile access.
Daily Little Red flight services run six times a day from Heathrow to Edinburgh and three times daily to Aberdeen. Four daily round trips run between Manchester and Heathrow.