Caribbean Airlines passengers will soon have an inflight entertainment option available. The airline, headquartered in Trinidad and Tobago and with a significant operation in Jamaica, will deploy Bluebox Aviation Systems’ portable wireless streaming platform, Bluebox Wow, on its Boeing B737-800 fleet for routes across the Caribbean and Americas. The ‘Caribbean View’ branded service offers free in-flight entertainment content streamed to passengers’ own devices. Content will include blockbuster movies, television programs, games, magazines and other Caribbean content.
Caribbean Airlines is focused on enhancing the customer experience, and we are excited to introduce ‘Caribbean View’ as part of our in-flight entertainment package. The wireless service will be free to all Caribbean Airlines passengers and the Bluebox Wow platform gives us the quality we want to deliver, in a flexible solution that fits our service upgrade plans. – Garvin Medera, Caribbean Airlines Chief Executive Officer
The streaming IFE approach allows Caribbean Airlines to deploy quickly and at a relatively low cost. Those parameters and the firm service launch date suggest that this iteration will play out more smoothly than the 2015 IFE announcement the carrier made. At that time the Lumexis FTTS in-seat IFE program was the announced selection. That service also featured a “second screen” streaming option but the embedded screens were a key driver. Funds became tight shortly after the deal was announced and ultimately the carrier chose to not follow through on the deal. There is no reason to believe the same will happen with the Bluebox deal.
The kit will be immediately available on 1 August 2018 across all the dozen 737-800s in Caribbean Airlines’ fleet, active on flights over 2 hours. The system activates for passengers above 10,000 feet.
The mix of routes from Port of Spain and Jamaica include several that exceed the 2 hour threshold; those are also routes where the carrier generally has competition with other airlines which also offer on-board entertainment in one form or another. In most cases it is also a streaming option and without power at the seats so Caribbean is catching up but not surpassing the competition.
In a Caribbean aviation market that struggles to draw passengers from the airlines that typically overfly the islands improvements in the passenger experience are an important step to keep revenues flowing. And with rising fuel prices the lightweight, streaming option helps get there without major impact to operating budgets.