New contracts with KLM and Indonesia’s Lion Air Group announced at the 2019 Aircraft Interiors Expo mark the first time AirFi’s wireless IFE is being used alongside seatback screens and the doubling of AirFi-equipped aircraft in the Asia-Pacific region, respectively.
Lion Air Group has signed an agreement with AirFi Indonesia to deploy its portable wireless in-flight entertainment (IFE) system and cabin retail technology across all five of its airlines, including full service carriers Batik Air, Malindo Air and Thai Lion Air; and low-cost carriers Lion Air and Wings Air.
This announcement marks AirFi’s largest contract to date. The first wave of installments will cover 215 aircraft, including ATR 42 and 72 turboprops, Boeing 737s and 747s, and Airbus A320s and A330s. The completion of this first wave of installations will expand the number of aircraft in the Asia-Pacific region equipped with the company’s solution to over 400 – more than double the current number.
AirFi claims this deployment of a wireless IFE solution across an airline group fleet comprising regional, narrow-body and wide-body aircraft and both low-cost and full-service carrier operations is an industry first.
In the long-term, Lion Air Group has the option to upgrade to AirFi LEO, the company’s lightweight in-flight connectivity service, which is due to launch with Atlantic Airways at the end of May, according to CEO Job Heimerikx.
“This is truly a landmark moment for AirFi,” said Satish Mahtani, managing director of AirFi Indonesia. “It is a tremendous endorsement from Lion Air Group to put AirFi at the heart of the 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.”
Martijn Moret, co-founder and EVP Commercial for Asia Pacific and Middle East at AirFi, commented, “We first put down our roots in Asia over four years ago and now have our technology, operations and customer-facing teams established across five countries – most recently with the launch of our new regional HQ in Singapore.” The Lion Air Group deal expands AirFi’s Asia Pacific client portfolio to 14 airlines.
In Europe, AirFi has deployed its wireless IFE solution across KLM’s thirteen-strong Boeing 747-400 fleet following a successful trial period in a deal which marks its first installation alongside seatback IFE screens.
“The quality of the current in-flight 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 on board, we can provide the passengers with high quality content via their own mobile devices,” explained Rene de Groot, KLM’s COO.