Japan’s largest airline ANA trains flight attendants with VR

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Japan’s largest airline, All Nippon Airways (ANA), is using virtual reality (VR) technology from NEC Corporation to provide enhanced safety training to flight attendants.

ANA is embracing VR to ensure that all flight attendants are prepared for a wide range of in-flight scenarios.

The airline hopes that the use of VR to replicate a range of emergency scenarios will prepare flight attendants to respond quickly and effectively in the event of a crisis.

The VR programme is part of a collaboration with NEC to provide an immersive and dynamic training environment that encourages flight attendants to think quickly and creatively.

“VR opens the doors to emergency training scenarios that we were previously unable to address in an interactive manner due to safety concerns,” explained Hitomi Yamamoto, executive vice president of ANA.

“Instead of learning how to address these situations from a textbook in the classroom, flight attendants will be able to combat dangers in real time through accurate VR recreations. ANA has a legacy of prioritising customer safety and innovation, and this new generation of VR training will allow us to continue our leadership in both of these spaces.”

ANA began using the system in 2018. All 800 of its new flight attendants received VR training in the programme’s three scenarios: internal cabin fire, sudden depressurisation and in-flight equipment checking.

“NEC is focusing on the social solutions business, and by providing these state-of-the-art ICT technologies, we aim to achieve an efficient and sophisticated society where people are able to enjoy brighter and more enriched lives.”

Kazuhiro Sakai, executive vice president of NEC

“NEC has a well-established track record of developing VR solutions for corporate applications that include training for atypical work sites, simulations for usability testing and solutions for remote teleconferencing,” said Kazuhiro Sakai, executive vice president of NEC.

“NEC is focusing on the social solutions business, and by providing these state-of-the-art ICT technologies, we aim to achieve an efficient and sophisticated society where people are able to enjoy brighter and more enriched lives.”

ANA and NEC plan to expand their partnership beyond training. They will build a ‘virtual workplace’ that they believe will streamline the future of work, using VR and artificial intelligence.

ANA isn’t the only airline embracing VR. Iberia teamed up with Inflight VR last month to expand its in-flight entertainment options to include VR and three-dimensional content.