Inflight maps are not just about where you are and where you’re going. For FlightPath3D a rapid growth of customers and installed aircraft is based in large part on sharing greater levels of detail with travelers and enabling e-commerce opportunities for its now more than 50 airline customers. The company demonstrated that flexibility with its 50th airline, All Nippon Airways, as it added specific restaurant points of interest to the map. Passengers can now search for dining options and read reviews while en route.
The latest generation of FlightPath3D’s map can display on passenger devices, enabling the service on far more single-aisle aircraft, planes less likely to fly with embedded IFE. The company’s first customer, Norwegian Airlines, and its 50th will both take advantage of that option on their aircraft. Go Ishiyama, Deputy Director IFEC at All Nippon Airways specifically called out the integration across multiple interfaces and aircraft types in driving his company’s selection of the system. “We selected FlightPath3D as they provide the most innovative moving map product in the market and could simultaneously integrate their map on both wireless and seatback IFE systems from different vendors on multiple aircraft types. They’re flexible, responsive and are constantly innovating to provide new valuable features.”
FlightPath3D President Duncan Jackson is bullish on the technology and the opportunity maps bring to the airlines and to passengers for changing the travel experience, “We focus on innovative features, quality and delivery schedule … creating a map experience for passengers that is effortless for airlines.”
Read More: Bringing a 360 view to the moving map
Jackson sees more than just a map, however. His goal is to change the travel experience well beyond just keeping passengers distracted during the flight. The points of information on the map are part of that plan and the new dining reviews in the ANA implementation are part of that. But Jackson sees “use cases of ordering rides and looking at hotel information, consuming services” as key growth motivators for the service.
Many of these expanded use cases benefit from inflight connectivity, but generally only a tiny amount of bandwidth is consumed. And, more importantly, low bandwidth options can be sufficient, the same sort of lightweight service AirFi will use with Atlantic Airways for limited payment processing and messaging services. With a tiny bit of bandwidth FlightPath3D can take restaurant reviews and turn them into a real-time booking option. Even without that connection the company can store requests and process them once on the ground. Duncan has previously demonstrated that technology with the Uber ride-hailing platform.
And the airline potentially earns a commission on every one of those transactions. It is an opportunity to deliver truly targeted advertising on board, through a channel already incredibly popular with passengers. With more than 275 million passengers flying on a FlightPath3D-equipped plane that’s a lot of eyeballs and potential revenue at stake.