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The latest blockbusters, language courses or a live view of the landing gear on the runway: airlines are currently only too happy to show off short-term offers for in-flight entertainment (IFE). It’s just a shame that the focus mostly lies on long haul. And yet there are innovative ideas for smaller aircraft too. We have brought you three alternative concepts.
We like being entertained, including on a flight. Airlines have recognised this customer requirement and thus try to get one up on each with ever more elaborate offers. However, this is mostly on long haul routes. Lufthansa, Qantas, Azul, JetBlue (and even British Airways to some degree) show how things can be different.
A dedicated Wi-Fi network with selected content
‘BoardConnect’ from Lufthansa Systems operates completely wirelessly. A dedicated Wi-Fi network is created in the cabin into which passengers can log in using a special app. Films, music and other content can be accessed using this. Advantage: the airline does not need to install any permanent monitors. On top of that, the system operates without any extensive satellite and Internet connections.
However, ‘BoardConnect’ has so far not turned out to be a top seller. Aircraft charters, for instance, could benefit from this here as well. Corporate presentations and destination videos can be played via the network. At present, the technology is used on some of the A321s from Lufthansa.
Tablet computers: no rental, just new holders
For a short time, there was a great deal of hype surrounding IFE systems based on tablet computers. And, even today, some airlines are offering the service on short haul routes, such as Qantas in the Boeing B717 regional fleet. However, the necessary logistics and certain security aspects argue against using rented equipment on board. It is really difficult to store tablets on board. What’s more, the valuable devices can go missing or be damaged when handed out or collected.
More and more airlines thus rely on passengers bringing their own devices on board. British Airways, for instance, introduced special holders for tablet computers with the new Euro cabin.
Live TV above the clouds
Following sports events or television programmes live on the screen – what seems an everyday occurrence on the ground is actually luxury above the clouds. This isn’t even a standard service on long haul routes.
A special exception: the Brazilian airline Azul. You can watch live TV in its Embraer E195 jets, even on the shortest routes. A service that even the customers of Pro Sky were able to enjoy as part of the football celebrations in Brazil. Incidentally, Jetblue also feels committed to offering a similarly high service standard. All Airbus A320s have ‘in-seat video’ with a selection of around 40 television channels. Or maybe not so incidentally after all, as both airlines were founded by successful Brazilian-American entrepreneur David Neeleman.
Looking to the future
Let’s take a look at the near future of IFE on short haul routes. The Internet is expected to make its way into the fleets. Together with passengers’ own devices (tablets, smartphones, etc.), this produces an unbeatable combination. Things will get very entertaining above the clouds.
Would you like to learn more about how you can use in-flight entertainment offers for your brand message? We are happy to help you.