Earlier this week, we brought you the story that Qantas has removed all music from its domestic in-flight entertainment. Claiming that fewer and fewer flyers are tuning in to music, Qantas decided back in July to remove the music playlists and CD collections in favour of more film and TV content.
Many in the Australian music industry, including APRA AMCOS CEO Dean Ormston have slammed the move. Qantas has also received a resounding backlash on social media since the story broke last Monday.
Yet, while Qantas is removing music from its flights, Virgin Australia has reaffirmed its support of Australia’s music industry. A Virgin spokesperson told Australian Frequent Flyer that the airline is proud of its ongoing contribution and will continue to feature Australian artists on board all its flights. “We are delighted to offer a platform for new and emerging artists on our In-Flight Entertainment to showcase their talent to the 24 million passengers we transport each year,” a Virgin Australia spokesperson said.
Virgin Australia’s in-flight entertainment App was criticised by some AFF members earlier in the year for a lack of content. But the airline’s range of music, including playlists and CD libraries, is actually pretty good.
Each month, Virgin Australia updates its in-flight entertainment with a new feature playlist hosted by an Australian artist. The airline has also been featuring the winners of the NIDA and Triple J Unearthed music competitions on board since 2014, and Virgin sponsors the BIGSOUND new music festival.
The Virgin Australia spokesperson added that the airline also supports Australian musicians by “being the only Australian airline to offer individual artists 64 kilograms of checked baggage when artists are travelling domestically”.
In many ways, Virgin Australia tries to be the opposite of Qantas. In contrast to Qantas’ campaign reminding everyone how the airline feels like home, for example, Virgin Australia tells us that “taking off is where the excitement lives”. Virgin’s latest move is another example of the airline positioning itself as the antithesis of Qantas.
Well played, Virgin.