Global entertainment and media agency Spafax and market leader in portable wireless IFEC systems AirFi are now collaborating on the next wave of inflight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) solutions, putting data analytics, machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) at the centre of a joint suite of new products and services.

 The new suite directly addresses the fast-growing need in this post COVID-19 environment[1] to fully digitise aircraft cabins, enable “touchless” operations and more deeply engage with customers and crew through intuitive, personalised means.

 In a recent interview[2], Spafax CEO, Niall McBain highlighted how digital transformation is at the forefront of Spafax’s strategic rehaul: 

“Spafax is working with new platforms and partners to give airlines new choices when the recovery begins, with cloud-based entertainment systems in the works that utilise creative, cutting-edge technology to connect with passengers in newer and even more exciting ways.”

 The new collaboration with AirFi expands Spafax’s reach beyond traditional seat-back IFE to maximise the potential of the latest generation, fully connected AirFi VENUS (Gen 3) portable IFEC system.

 According to Tony Taverner, Chief Technical Officer at Spafax, “airlines have increasingly expressed the need for even more flexible IFEC solutions. Our new joint product suite developed with AirFi allows airlines to make the most of AirFi’s technologies and platform versatility together with Spafax’s expertise across content, passenger communications and advertising.”

 Job Heimerikx, CEO at AirFi said that “we are delighted to be teaming with Spafax to lead this new wave in intelligence-driven passenger experiences. The revenue generation opportunity from digital platforms inflight are still massively untapped. Inflight Entertainment has been well established for over 30 years since the days of Hi-8 tapes, but remains a cost centre. Then came connectivity, but again the cost and complexity of delivery has overshadowed passenger experience and profitability.  Today we are announcing a major global collaboration that will finally unlock the huge growth potential in onboard digital revenues through machine learning.”

 Jean-Marc Thomas, Managing Director, Spafax Asia said:  

“We’re thrilled to be developing new business opportunities alongside AirFi – the services we individually offer to airlines are very complementary and together, we can deliver a cutting-edge IFEC experience onboard. AirFi are the market leader in portable onboard wireless technologies and bring their in-depth knowledge of the industry and have designed a very intuitive platform for us to expand our content media and integrated revenue-generating solutions.”

 Spafax and AirFi are now making available, to new and existing clients, an integrated airline advertising analytics tool leveraging the latest AI technology to combine behavioural datasets with airline passenger demographics. Tapping into the vast amount of data points that are generated from the AirFi system, this tool will give unrivaled insight into the purchasing characteristics of passengers and allow Spafax’s media portfolio and brand partners targeted and personalised digital opportunities displayed directly onto passengers’ connected devices.

More on the joint product suite from Spafax and AirFi which will effectively and securely bridge the digital information gap across each client, their remote crews and millions of passengers and consumers on the move :

  • Content and media solutions that are customisable, flexible and easily deployed.
  • High bandwidth, certified and secure streaming to any mobile device onboard.
  • Content and targeted advertising to passengers displayed in a controlled and secure environment via AirFi’s fully GDPR-compliant onboard server.
  • Digital-rich media types and formats.
  • Daily content refresh capability.
  • Embedded AI technologies and applications.


AirFi VENUS (Gen 3) key features:

  • Hollywood approved AirFi App-less DRM
  • 1 TB+ content storage as standard
  • 3G/4G ground connectivity with AirFi LEO inflight connectivity option
  • 24-hour battery life or AirFi FASE rapid deployment aircraft-powered
  • MPAA Approved. PCI Certified. Open API platform.


[1] COVID-19: ‘Majority’ of UK firms now looking to AI to bolster their business.” Yahoo Finance 3 Oct 20.  “In the face of adversity, COVID forced business leaders to make “smart investments” on the spot to prevent their businesses from collapsing, which saw them “roll-out digital technologies” to keep the workflow going, while keeping their customers satisfied.


About Spafax Group

 The Spafax Group is one of the world’s leading providers of media sales, entertainment curation and content marketing. Originally founded to serve the airline market, Spafax Group companies now support a wide variety of leading brands around the world. Current clients include Air Canada, American Airlines, British Airways, Japan Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Emirates, the Lufthansa Group, Singapore Airlines and many others. The group is headquartered in London with over a dozen offices around the world. Spafax is a WPP company.