Streaming IFE deals continue to pile up, including a new, unique use case for the AirFi kit and a massive, fleet-wide installation in Asia. The news came out Tuesday during day one of the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg.
Roaring with Lion Air in Indonesia
Leading the news is the 200+ aircraft order from Lion Air. The deal covers all aircraft across the family of airlines, including the Batik and Malindo brands. It also includes a wide variety of aircraft ranging from ATR turboprops through the A320/737 families and up through to the A330 and 747s. Lion Air becomes the largest AirFi wireless IFE customer by fleet size with this move.
The long-term deal sees AirFi providing a fully-managed, turnkey solution for getting the entertainment system on board. It also includes an option to expand the offering to the AirFi LEO product, adding a lightweight connectivity solution to handle simple messaging tasks for passengers or inflight credit card transaction processing for the airline. Atlantic Airways announced as the first customer for that offering in late 2018 and continues work on implementation.
“It is a tremendous endorsement from Lion Air Group to put AirFi at the heart of the onboard digital passenger experience at one of world’s biggest carriers. Within our first year of operation, AirFi Indonesia has captured the majority of its home market. A clear signal that customers trust the quality and delivery of AirFi’s product and supporting systems and services.”
– Satish Mahtani, MD AirFi Indonesia
A Jumbo play in Europe
— Luchtvaartnieuws.nl (@luchtvaart) April 2, 2019
In addition to the Asia deals a European move brings a special use case into service. KLM selected the AirFi system for its 747-400 fleet, augmenting the existing in-seat IFE system. The 747s – and the associated inflight entertainment kit – are old and not particularly competitive in the market. But the planes are slated for retirement in the near future. Investing in an upgraded embedded IFE system is not worth the cost to the airline.
“The quality of the current inflight entertainment in the Boeing 747-400s is no longer of the level that it should be. Because the aircraft will disappear completely from the fleet in the coming years, investing in new [embedded] systems is no longer profitable. With the AirFi system onboard, we can provide the passengers with high quality content via their own mobile devices.”
– Rene de Groot, COO KLM
By implementing a streaming solution the carrier gives travelers a second screen option, improving the passenger experience, while keeping costs and logistics to a minimum. Among the critical factors in choosing AirFi for this deal was battery life of the system. The AirFi boxes run long enough to keep streaming on the long-haul 747 flights without needing a mid-flight replacement.