Friday, July 28, 2017

Inmarsat finds high demand for high-quality inflight Wi-Fi

The third annual Global Inflight Connectivity Survey, released this week by Inmarsat revealed that airline passengers are placing an increased importance on the presence of inflight Wi-Fi.


Inmarsat conducted the survey with the help of market research company GfK. What the partners found was that a health majority of respondents are viewing Wi-Fi as a inflight necessity. Sixty-one percent of global passengers surveyed who have experienced high-quality inflight Wi-Fi rate it higher on their list of priorities than inflight entertainment when choosing an airline. 

“With airlines in every market racing to install or upgrade their Wi-Fi offering, passengers will have a choice to opt for an airline that offers high-quality broadband, and will soon turn their back on airlines not offering this,” said a July 28 release from Inmarsat. “Nearly half of respondents (44%) said they would stop using their preferred airline within the next year if it did not offer connectivity enabling them to stream or browse online without interruption.” 

The ability to connect of personal electronic devices is a top-three desire behind ticket price (53%) and flight slots (44%) for 40% of passengers who have experienced high-quality Wi-Fi. The ability to remain online and work during a flight is greatly improving passenger experience, according to more than half (56%) of business travellers who have previously used inflight Wi-Fi. Two thirds (66%) of parents traveling with children said inflight Wi-Fi helps greatly to keep children occupied during flights

Inmarsat and GfK surveyed 9,000 airline passengers from 18 countries across Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific, and North and Latin America. Inmarsat said it the largest global passenger survey of its kind.

“High-quality inflight Wi-Fi is changing the way people think about flying and how they spend their time in the air,” said Leo Mondale, President of Inmarsat Aviation. “Whether using the time to work, to connect with friends and family, or to pass time shopping or viewing entertainment, the availability of inflight broadband has become a major factor when choosing an airline.”
Of passengers who have experienced high-quality inflight Wi-Fi, Inmarsat found:
  • 61% say it is more important to them than onboard entertainment 
  • 45% would rather pay for Wi-Fi than use free onboard entertainment
  • 56% of passengers say a lack of reliable inflight Wi-Fi is a major cause of frustration with plane journeys 
  • 61% agree that inflight Wi-Fi takes the anxiety out of flying because they can stay in contact with people on the ground
  • 77% of passengers would pay for inflight connectivity on short haul leisure flights, an increase from 64% in 2016. Those happiest to pay are passengers aged 25-34, parents travelling with children and passengers travelling in Asia Pacific and the United States
  • 89% of passengers are willing to pay for inflight connectivity on long haul leisure flights
  • Passengers have the highest expectations of connectivity in the Asia Pacific region, where 91% of passengers are willing to pay for Wi-Fi on a long haul flight 
  • 52% of passengers would take advantage of the ability to purchase items during a flight and collect them upon arrival at the airport, providing huge opportunities for inflight e-commerce



Thursday, July 27, 2017

JetBlue taking food company entries for BlueBud mentoring program

JetBlue today announced the opening of the application process for its business mentoring program – BlueBud.

Last year's BlueBud recipient
was The Bronx Greenmarket
Hot Sauce

“Now in its third year, JetBlue’s BlueBud initiative offers innovative, socially responsible food and beverage brands special access to JetBlue senior leaders and the airline's unique product development culture, as well as valuable industry insights,” said a release from the airline. “BlueBud is focused on products from New York State. Applications are currently being accepted here until August 30, 2017.”


The program helps feed the airline’s pipeline with sustainable and innovative food products. Small companies learn what it takes to break into airline catering while remaining true to their social mission. PAX International featured the program in this issue

“With BlueBud we’re supporting food companies that have impactful ideas and responsible practices,” said Sophia Mendelsohn, head of sustainability, JetBlue. “In partnership with GrowNYC, we’re highlighting the diversity of food products grown right here in New York State. Getting products onboard an aircraft is no easy task. Brands that are conscious of their environmental impact are among our first choices to serve onboard and in our airports.”

JetBlue is partnering with GrowNYC for the selection process to connect with food and beverage businesses focused on sustainable sourcing and social responsibility. A celebration announcing the winning company will be held this fall at Project Farmhouse, GrowNYC’s state-of-the-art sustainability and education center located near Union Square in New York City. As part of the airline’s passion for ethically sourced food, JetBlue is a sponsor of Project Farmhouse which serves as a classroom for the cultivation of ideas and relationships. A broad, dynamic range of programming takes place at the Farmhouse to help plant ideas and foster healthier, environmentally-friendly decisions and actions.

“GrowNYC is pleased to once again partner with JetBlue on this important program to support local food producers,” said Marcel Van Ooyen, President/CEO at GrowNYC. “Small startup food companies face countless challenges in producing and marketing their products. JetBlue’s innovative BlueBud program gives new food and beverage companies a much-needed leg up and helps them build a foundation for success.”

Previous Winners:

Bronx Greenmarket Hot Sauce - In 2016, Bronx Greenmarket Hot Sauce was selected for the program. The hot sauce is made from local serrano peppers grown in collaboration with GrowNYC and Bronx Greenup. More than 40 Bronx greenmarket farms and community gardens grow these peppers. Each bottle sold directly supports these gardens and farmers and helps to revitalize the Bronx’s budding economy, asserting the borough as the next big culinary destination for local food in New York.


Hot Bread Kitchen - The first winner of the BlueBud program, in 2015, was Hot Bread Kitchen – a social enterprise bakery based in Harlem. The bakery creates economic opportunity through careers in food, with paid on-the-job training in baking for foreign-born and immigrant women. After a year of mentorship, the bakery learned what it takes to partner with an airline, and then pitched their product to JetBlue. 

Although being part of BlueBud is no guarantee to making it onboard, JetBlue was impressed by Hot Bread Kitchen’s pitch and introduced the bakery’s challah rolls onto its Mint brunch menu. Mint is JetBlue’s unique take on premium service and is available on select routes.

BlueBud promotes innovation and helps JetBlue offer responsible food and beverage options to its customers.