Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Report tracks growth in wireless IFE to 17,000 aircraft by 2024

While high-profile in-flight Wi-Fi deployments continue to grab the headlines, the closely related market for wireless in-flight entertainment (W-IFE) rapidly gathers speed. According to Valour Consultancy’s latest research, the number of aircraft equipped with solutions that enable wireless delivery of IFE content will exceed 4,000 by the end of this year, and hit 17,000 by 2024.

W-IFE is becoming increasingly popular for a number of reasons. One cited by Valour is that it is a relatively simple process to add content streaming to existing in-flight connectivity (IFC) networks. However, the company says it is on aircraft that might not otherwise have installed IFE where the real potential lies. 

Report author and Valour Consultancy’s Senior Consultant, Craig Foster, explains “The single-aisle market is a huge untapped opportunity. With many of these aircraft rolling off production lines without any form of IFE on board, it is a market ripe for lightweight, inexpensive and easy-to-install solutions that have the added potential benefit of being able to generate ancillary revenues.”

Currently, ancillary revenues related to W-IFE are low but Foster said he believes there is plenty of reason to believe W-IFE can be turned into a profit center.

“Airlines have a known demographic with high levels of disposable income captive for several hours at a time and this alone is attractive to advertisers. When you employ analytical tools, it is possible to segment passengers, show content and ads tailored to their preferences and ensure they are offered products most relevant to them."

The report also reveals that the emergence of portable solutions from the likes of Media inMotion, AirFi and Lufthansa Systems that do not require a Supplemental Type Certificate are driving interest in W-IFE across the market. Wide-body operators are keen to deploy W-IFE too, said the report. But to complement embedded systems and not, as many predict, to replace them.

“Second screening is a going to become as big a trend in the air as it is on the ground and carriers are only too aware of this,” Foster concluded.

Its latest report “The Future of Wireless In-Flight Entertainment” offers a comprehensive analysis of the current and future provision of this technology. An overview of the report, which is available for purchase, can be found here

Monday, November 9, 2015

SITA survey finds extensive use of mobile devices at Mexican airports

Passengers at Mexico’s airports have high levels of smartphone ownership and increasingly use their mobile devices to book, check-in and board their flights according to a report by global air transport IT provider, SITA. 

The SITA Passenger IT Trends Survey 2015, carried out at six international airports in Mexico that together manage 72% of all the country’s passenger traffic found that 84% carry a smartphone – this is considerably higher than average ownership across the population of Mexico, which is closer to 25%. In addition, 50% of passengers carry a laptop, 35% a tablet and 15% carry all three.

By 2016, nearly SITA says one third (31%) will book flights using a mobile device. While the rate of check-in using a mobile device will more than double from today’s 10% up to 24%. Using a mobile device to board is also becoming increasingly popular with 18% expecting to do so by their next flight. 

Mexican passengers are happier than the average global airline passenger.  On average 85% feel positive emotions across the 10 steps of the journey which SITA measured, peaking at 97% during dwell time. During this part of the journey, 81% of Mexican passengers value entertainment the most while 75% enjoy eating and drinking – higher than the average passenger in other parts of the world.

As with passengers in other parts of the world, Mexicans who use their mobile devices would like flight updates available to them. However, more than 60% of them would also like to use their phones for secure ID, access or to make payments. These rates are higher than in other parts of the world and indicate that Mexican passengers are open to adopting new mobile technologies at airports.

When it comes to baggage, 92% of Mexican passengers check in bags, which is higher than the global average of 81%. 

“And in the future, more and more passengers at Mexican airports will choose self-service options to check in them in,” said a release from SITA. “In fact, by next year only 34% expect to drop their bags at an airline check-in counter compared to a global average of 59%. This demonstrates that self-bag drop options would be welcomed by passengers across Mexico.”

Thursday, November 5, 2015

ANA Star Wars™ Project includes livery and inflight products

As part of the Star Wars™ Project, ANA plans to fly three aircraft with special livery and inflight products. 

On November 22 one of those jets, the Star Wars™ ANA Jets, a 767-300 will fly for the first time as ANA’s flight number NH14 departing Itami Airport in Osaka bound for Haneda Airport in Tokyo. The Star Wars™ ANA Jet will then fly on various other domestic routes. 

The aircraft will feature new, original paper cups and headrests. On December 1 passengers on the international routes will also be able to enjoy an original film on the
in-flight entertainment featuring the R2-D2™ ANA Jet, which already went into service from October 18. 

The film includes footage from the process of applying the special R2-D2 livery paint to the ceremonial charter flight event hosted on October 17 to mark the first passenger flight of the aircraft.