The future of in-flight shopping is digital. And it will consume passengers’ attention throughout a flight. This is the hope of marketers everywhere and the underlying concept driving the launch of SKYdeals, the new in-flight “shoppertainment” platform now flying on Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines.
When it comes to screens on airplanes the industry is focused squarely on the seatback. AERQ, a joint venture between Lufthansa Technik and LG Electronics wants to shift that conversation. Taking advantage of LG’s screens technology and the inflight services prowess of Lufthansa Technik and Lufthansa Systems, the company has big expectations for delivering its services on board.
Last Fall Deutsche Telekom promised an integrated billing solution that would give its mobile phone customers easier access to the inflight connectivity solution on more than 200 Lufthansa Group aircraft. As of this week that promise is fulfilled. Customers subscribing to the new “Inflight Europa Flat” add-on package on their cell phone plan now receive seamless access to wifi on board the Group’s A320 family of planes.
Can narrow-band wifi options for inflight passenger connectivity work? Lufthansa Systems pulled the plug on one such program recently, seeking to avoid “pissing everyone off.”
Can Jet Airways climb out of its financial funk to become the first Indian airline offering inflight wifi connectivity on board? Global Eagle is ready to execute, assuming the airline finds its fiscal footing.
Is there a secret to better financing of inflight connectivity solutions? Indonesia's Mahata Aero Technology (MAT) is the latest to take that plunge, with an arrangement to cover the costs for Garuda and Citilink. The deal relies on partnerships with suppliers Lufthansa Systems, Lufthansa Technik and Inmarsat, along with what MAT Executive Director Iwan Setiawan describes as "a unique business model" that is proving successful in its preliminary state.
Indonesian national carrier Garuda is expanding its inflight wifi commitment with Inmarsat’s GX Aviation solution. The move follows the selection earlier this year by Citilink, an LCC carrier in the Garuda Group, to install the same kit. The signed contract also quashes any hopes Global Eagle still had of resuscitating its deal with the carrier.
The first Citilink Indonesia inflight wifi connectivity installation is underway. Work to add the Inmarsat GX Aviation kit to the aircraft began recently on the first of 50 A320s contracted to receive the system. The implementation is being overseen by Mahata Aero Teknologi (MAT), and Indonesian wireless technology provider.
Garuda Indonesia is the latest carrier to get online in the sky. The airline announced today that it will fly Inmarsat’s Global Xpress kit on its fleet, starting with the A330s early next year.
Outgoing Spirit Airlines CEO Bob Fornaro is no stranger to the inflight connectivity world, even if his current airline is a late adopter of such services. Fornaro oversaw the fleet-wide deployment of connectivity at AirTran. He saw the value it could deliver and the pains that poor performance and limited availability caused for passengers and the airline. Now he wants to bring a new model to market and lead the connected ULCC revolution, starting with the Thales kit installed on his company's fleet. Will this secret sauce work?