Page 1

mar/apr 2019 issue seven

entertainment & connectivity

brought to you by

OEC_Cover_BLUE.indd 1

3/12/19 02:53 PM

A new leader in Cabin Technology

Burrana is a leading provider of integrated, end-to-end cabin technology. We deliver reliable, tailored solutions that provide operational efficiencies, enhance passenger experience and enable your brand.

Visit us at AIX 2019 aix.burrana.aero

Untitled-1 1

01/03/2019 09:20 3/7/19 02:52 PM




nvestment in technology continues at pace. Airlines, airports, rail operators and their suppliers are all pushing the boundaries with new and increasingly complex systems creatively embedded in the heart of the passenger journey.


Julie Baxter Writers

Richard Williams Benjamin Coren Publisher

Sue Williams Exhibition Director

Craig McQuinn Senior Designer

Louisa Horton Designer

Ross Clifford Production Manager

Behind the scenes, the science, software and processes involved are largely a mystery to most of the passengers they are designed for and, if we're honest, of very little interest to the majority of them. What matters to passengers is that these systems provide the simplest and most user-friendly of interactions onboard and do something that enhances their trip. Clever mega-bucks technologies are only worth the money if they add to the passenger experience or support operations, and increasingly it's obvious they definitely do. Technology is extending choice in entertainment, F&B ordering and shopping, it is enhancing passenger wellbeing and opening up crucial revenue and efficiency opportunities too. This supplement highlights just some of the latest developments, including some you will see at AIX and PTS. Every page confirms technology's News essential and utterly transformative role Deals and developments in the onboard passenger experience.

04 06

Clare Hunter


Managing Director

Matt Bonner CEO



Julie Baxter, EDITOR


The habit of settling down into your seat and selecting an inflight movie is a hard one to break, but lots of passengers are finding novel ways to pass their travel time on connected aircraft. The modern IFE system is offering all kinds of new opportunities – providing games, moving maps, shoppertainment, wellness services and inflight VR to name a few. We explore these in our feature 'Beyond the movies' on page 8. Technology is finally living up to its promise to deliver more choice for passengers and more opportunities for airlines to engage with them. We’ll be at the AIX Expo and PTS in Hamburg, rooting out more creative examples of technology that deliver a great passenger experience. We look forward to seeing you there.

Richard Williams, WRITER

Show preview

Passenger Experience Week

Beyond the movies

How IFE is evolving

12 Focus on... 16 19

New age antennas

In conversation...

Steve King, ceo Black Swan

Focus on... Burrana – digEcor rebranded

20 Head in the clouds 22 23 24 26

Inflight headsets

How to...

Make technology bespoke

Case study

Air Canada taps into data

Dreaming of streaming

Viewing trends inflight


Thierry Carmes predicts an IFE revolution


Welcome-contents_V2.indd 3

3/12/19 04:12 PM



News updates



Inflight VR is running a six-month trial of virtual reality technology with Iberia. VR devices will be available to hire on flights from Madrid to New York and Tel Aviv. The second-generation Pico devices allow three-dimensional gaming, films, city travelogues, and documentaries, including taking a Red Sea dive. inflight-vr.com


Immfly is expanding its operations into Asia. The company's IFE enables passengers to use their own smart personal devices instead of seatback systems to enjoy curated content and services. immfly.com


Indonesian low-cost carrier Citilink has launched its first aircraft with free connectivity – supplied by Lufthansa Systems working with Mahata Aero Teknologi, Inmarsat and Lufthansa Technik. The e-commerce solution is based on commercial offers and advertising, generating revenues that make it possible to offer passengers free internet access. Inmarsat is supplying the broadband connection with its global GX Aviation network, and Lufthansa Technik is providing the hardware and installation. lhsystems.com


Using basic voice commands on their smart speaker, disabled customers can now book Virgin Trains’ JourneyCare services. Once a ticket is booked, the technology allows the customer to book assistance directly, taking only a couple of minutes and in a much more user-friendly way than previous online forms. virgintrains.co.uk


Portable wireless IFE provider AirFi has launched DANCE24, an onboard dance music streaming platform. DANCE24 has the exclusive rights to live event streams and a catalogue of over 1200 hours of content from


British Airways has launched a new dedicated channel within its inflight entertainment system, featuring award-winning and nominated films. The channel, named Award Worthy, features films that collectively won 11 BAFTAs and 10 Oscars this year’s awards season. britishairways.com

major festivals and global DJ talent. Fans using the platform will be able to compete for prizes such as back-stage passes and VIP meet-and-greets, and will be able to buy tickets and merchandise, generating new revenues across the board for airlines. DANCE24.airfi.aero


News update_V3 .indd 4

3/11/19 05:42 PM



Neos, the Italian leisure airline, will offer Viasat's inflight connectivity service on its Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft. Neos will also work with Viasat on a customised portal, giving passengers an easy interface to connect to the onboard wifi system. Neos will have access to Viasat’s current satellite communications systems in North America as far as the Caribbean and the tip of northern South America; over the Atlantic Ocean, and in Europe, through its jointly-owned satellite; as well as the ViaSat-3 satellite constellation currently under development. viasat.com; neosair.it



Jeju Air will deploy Bluebox Wow portable wireless IFE across its fleet of Boeing B737-800s flying from Incheon airport. The new service follows a free trial onboard 10 aircraft. Bluebox Wow is a discrete, portable, lunchbox-sized unit stowed in overhead bins that provides wireless content streamed to passenger devices. The system now has the KC Mark safety certification. blueboxaviation.com


Gogo installed 477 aircraft with satellite inflight connectivity (IFC) last year. The company ended the year with a total of 1,296 commercial aircraft fitted with its IFC. El Al has launched a new wifi service At the end of for trans-Atlantic flights. Connectivity is 2018, Gogo supplied by the ViaSat-2 satellite offering had: 1,007 a fast Ka-band service. Three wifi packages aircraft installed – Basic, Social and Business – can be and activated purchased inflight. The service is free with 2Ku to El Al’s top Platinum Matmid technology; 252 members. aircraft installed elal.com and activated with FREE APPLE MUSIC Ku technology; and ON AMERICAN AIRLINES 37 aircraft fitted with 2Ku Passengers on domestic American Airlines flights with inflight technology but not yet online. In connectivity supplied by Viasat can now access their Apple Music addition, there were approximately accounts and stream songs, playlists and music videos free of charge. 1,000 2Ku aircraft waiting for American is the first commercial airline to provide exclusive access to installation. gogoair.com Apple Music through complimentary inflight wifi. Passengers without an Apple Music subscription can sign up to a three-month free trial period while onboard to get immediate access. Passengers can also tune in to American Airlines’ unique, city-themed playlists. American Airlines has so far installed high-speed inflight wifi across 570 of its domestic aircraft. The airline is also adding free live TV on more than 400 domestic and 155 international aircraft. applemusic.com/americanairlines



News update_V3 .indd 5

3/11/19 05:42 PM



See you in Hamburg TECH TALK TO WATCH OUT FOR...

Passenger Technology Solutions (PTS) is returning to Passenger Experience Week (PEX) in Hamburg April 1–4 for its second year, and this time it will be located in the Airline Interiors Expo (AIX) halls. The event showcases the latest in cabin interiors, inflight entertainment and connectivity, onboard technology, passenger comfort and travel retail, to create the ultimate passenger experience.

Technologies such as blockchain, biometrics, AR and machine learning are helping to connect airports, airlines, rail and cruise operators with passengers ARCHANA SHARMA PTS exhibition director


Game-changing new technologies will be on show both within the exhibition and at the PTS seminars. Running each day, the The Inflight Entertainment & Communications (IFEC) seminars will include workshops, debates Zone at AIX is returning with more than 100 suppliers present, and case studies. The programme including Panasonic, Bluebox Aviation Systems, Gogo, includes insights on biometrics, Honeywell Aerospace and Thales. Research by IATA passenger engagement, has revealed that 54% of passengers would blockchain, big data and choose to watch digital content on a seatAI. Speakers will include centric system, rather than their own device "Airlines are waking up to the Joe Leader, ceo of APEX; (36%). And a number of leading suppliers will full potential of big data and PTS Anne de Hauw, founder showcase their latest solutions in the IFEC is a great platform for engaging IN Air Travel Experience; Zone, including Burrana (formerly digEcor) with operators on how they can use and Simon Pont, ECR which will demonstrate its GLIDE embedded their data to enhance the entire Retail Systems. Air France inflight entertainment system. Complete passenger experience" will be among those with a customisable, open platform system Patrick Prefontaine, cco, sharing its experiences, that is easily integrated with in-seat power, Black Swan Data working with Digital Factory LED lighting and cabin crew services, it can be to accelerate innovation. adapted to any airline’s technology requirements.




Trends updates_V2.indd 6

3/12/19 10:51 AM




Take a break from touring halls and head to the daily seminars within PTS and on April 2 (10.45am) you can hear from Luke Miles, of New Territory, who will lead a session on how airlines can use tech to offer more bespoke services. This interactive workshop will explore the emerging technologies set to shape the future passenger experience across the entire customer journey. newterritory.io

April 1-4 18,000 visitors

2,000 buyers and decision makers from across the industry The Onboard Hospitality team will be attending this year’s events in force looking for news, views and the latest trends. The event is set to attract more than 18,000 visitors including 2,000 buyers and decision makers from major full service, regional and charter airlines and rail operators, and offers the opportunity to meet face to face with suppliers and manufacturers covering the full spectrum of the industry. The four-day event starts with the Passenger Experience Conference, which features keynote addresses from industry figures alongside seminars and conference sessions. The three days of exhibition will showcase the latest travel-related technologies, products and services.



Developments in inflight entertainment and connectivity are among the biggest trends impacting cabin design in the past 20 years, according to PJ Wilcynski of Boeing speaking on the new PAX Week Views podcast. Listen in at: passengerexperienceweek. com/Podcasts/


For technology in action, head to the Taste of Travel Theatre within WTCE to hear from Mariette Abrahams of personalised nutrition consultancy, Qina, (April 2, 3.15pm). Abrahams will lead a session on how technology is driving consumer choices onboard and online, using real-time data as well as a datascience approach to understanding the trends. marietteabrahams.com


Teams of international developers, designers and marketers will have the chance to compete in the first Hackathon to be held at PTS. Named Pax Tech Hack, the event will see teams battle it out to create new solutions that will improve the end-to-end passenger journey in the aviation and rail industries. The teams will be given several challenges facing the industry and then get 48 hours to develop a functional concept with a strong practical application that will utilise new technologies to tackle the issue. The winning team in each challenge will receive â‚Ź5,000. Registration for Pax Tech Hack is open until April 1. paxtechhack.bemyapp.com


Trends updates_V2.indd 7

3/12/19 10:51 AM



Beyond the movies

What does the modern IFE system have for passengers who don’t want to watch movies in the sky? Richard Williams invited content providers offering games, moving maps, shoppertainment and inflight VR to show just what airlines can offer beyond the blockbusters


Say hello to Phil. He has his movies sorted on a big screen at home and thinks watching films when flying is a waste of time – he dislikes the seatback screens with poor sound and interruptions for food and drinks. What’s he going to do on this six-hour flight?

THE RESPONSES Jon Norris, FlightPath3D

Good morning Phil and welcome onboard. I know this was a short-notice work trip and you didn’t have time to book a hotel. Should I go ahead and get a room at the CitizenM again? Also, as you have some downtime in New York before the meeting, would you like to see some suggestions for what you could do? There’s a great Abstract Art exhibition on at the moment

at the Guggenheim... or alternatively go and see the Brancusi Sculpture exhibit at MOMA. During your last visit you heard the Joshua Redman Quartet play at the Blue Note, so how about seeing Martin Nevin play at the Jazz Gallery by the Flatiron? There are tickets available for tomorrow night, and we can suggest some great Italian restaurants nearby. The traffic from JFK is estimated to be moderate when we land, and there are currently no hold-ups forecast in the terminal, so you should get to your hotel at about 2:15pm. Should I book you an Uber? OK... you’re all set... your itinerary has been synced with your phone, where you’ll also find your tickets and a map. Have a great trip! FlightPath3D empowers passengers to virtually explore their destination, enhanced with locationaware information, entertainment, merchandising and advertising content while creating a personally curated destination experience itinerary and travel guide. If Internet access is available passengers can view realtime traffic updates, available inventory and make reservations. The service also works as a research and planning tool without any internet access. This powerful combination is a cornerstone for the digital traveller, and it’s now available with FlightPath3D.


IFE_Beyond_movies_V2.indd 8

3/20/19 09:30 AM


Julien Sivan, SKYdeals


a given product or destination service. Along with other passengers, he could benefit from a group buying offer on a Disney daily pass. When flying over Ireland, he might be tempted by an deal on a whiskey he’d never heard of, offered to him because he is an enthusiast. He might even bid on a Tesla Model S during a special Flying Auction. To add to the fun, the winner will be announced just 10 minutes before landing!

Phil is an ideal passenger for SKYdeals: so let me tell you what SKYdeals can offer him? First, free access to private sales of exclusive offers live-promoted by brands, as well as last-minute offers on destination services, only available during his flight. For example, Phil could order a Sony home cinema system at an unbeatable price and have it Angela Fafard, Special inflight delivered to his home on his return. Global Eagle shoppertainment He could also grab a deal on a spa Entertainment features could liven up The modern IFE system offers highsession at his destination, or even a flights with flash sales resolution monitors and connectivityhelicopter ride. Secondly, access to exclusive or limited-time deals equipped aircraft so Phil can enjoy offers from shops at the destination hours of gameplay from his seat. airport and delivered at the arrivals gate. Phil could Through collaboration with brands like Hasbro and order a magnum of champagne to celebrate his arrival Rovio, Global Eagle is now able to offer IFE-targeted with his friends at his destination. SKYdeals staff will be game titles that allow Phil to reconnect with favourite waiting for him on arrival with his order. characters in a new gaming context such as Angry Birds Finally, special inflight shoppertainment features will World Tour, or revisit his favourite childhood classic liven up his flight with fun, tempting offers. Every hour, board games like Hasbro’s Guess Who? and Boggle. he gets offered an incredible discount during a flash sale, With onboard connectivity supplementing the inflight or a limited-time deal (available only for 15 minutes) on entertainment experience, travellers can look forward onboardhospitality.com

IFE_Beyond_movies_V2.indd 9

3/20/19 09:30 AM




to a communal gaming experiencing with fellow passengers. Phil can engage in a competitive round of Mattel’s Uno onboard or play a round of Monopoly with his family. Airline contests and live gaming events are just some of the exciting developments in store. There are multiple avenues available to passengers like Phil to spend their flight time productively – he could even learn some key phrases in the language of his destination, or read travel guides for some last-minute inspiration.

Raphael Baumann, Inflight VR

Phil’s lack of interest in the traditional movie offering doesn’t stay unnoticed, as a cabin crew member pulls out a virtual reality (VR) headset from one of the trolleys. “Now this is an experience you won’t forget,” he says. Weirdly Phil realises that he is trying a technology With home cinemas becoming a norm, and a in an aircraft that he doesn’t even own at home yet. huge wealth of high-quality content now available As the headset turns on, he suddenly finds on demand, it is no wonder Phil has high standards himself in a virtual, yet realistic, business-class when it comes to watching films. But flying cabin with a menu in front doesn’t mean you have to of him displaying different compromise. content pieces to choose   SkyLights’ Allosky VR from. Oddly, he already feels headset gives Phil his own There are multiple more comfortable by simply personal movie theatre avenues available for having more space visually. He experience on a full HD passengers to spend can select with his gaze and screen. At 250g, half the weight their flight time finds the browsing of content of most VR headsets, the productively intuitive. Over the next couple Allosky is designed for longof hours, he swims with whale term use. It is also wireless sharks, lives through a concert on stage with U2 and can be connected via Bluetooth to active and walks through Tokyo. He has even bought a noise-cancelling headphones for a immersive and handbag for his girlfriend that he inspected in 3D in undisturbed viewing experience. the virtual mall. When it comes to important passenger Phil is relaxing on a beach in Australia, when announcements, cabin crew can send the seatbelt sign pops up combined with a voice timely passenger updates via SkyLights’ wifimessage reminding him that the aircraft is about to based companion app. land. He had actually forgotten that he was sitting  For Phil, the Allosky not only offers in an plane – and now finally understands the a big screen, it also opens the meaning of the term ‘immersion’. door to a new world of content types. Whether it is earlywindow blockbusters in 2D and Rory Gillies, unprecedented 3D licensed from SkyLights SkyLights’ Hollywood partners, With its lightweight and comfortable VR or forward-facing VR discovery headsets, SkyLights offers passengers like Phil an content, SkyLights’ catalogue inflight entertainment experience beyond what he promises a flight to remember. • is used to on the ground. onboardhospitality.com

IFE_Beyond_movies_V2.indd 10

3/20/19 09:30 AM


SmartSky Data Commercial Ad | Onboard Hospitality Magazine - April/May | Trim: 195mm (W) x 258mm (H) | Bleed: 201mm (W) x 266mm (H) | Text live area: 177mm (W) x 237mm (H)

DATA DRIVES DECISIONS Your aircraft is trying to tell you something. Are you listening? Get your crew the secure information when they need it for smooth and safe operations.

The Most Compelling User Experience • smartskynetworks.com/Commercial • 800.660.9982 © SmartSky Networks, LLC 2019. All Rights reserved.

Untitled-1 1 IFE_Beyond_movies_V2.indd 11

25/02/2019 09:17 3/20/19 09:30 AM


onboard entertainment & connectivity

Beam me up Revolutionary antenna technologies could be opening the door to improved connectivity in the sky. Richard Williams finds out more


etting decent wifi when you are out and about in town can be difficult enough sometimes, so the idea that good inflight connectivity is on the way could seem a little fanciful. But a better passenger experience is just around the corner, thanks to a new range of innovative antennas. There are more high-throughput satellites in service than ever before, and many more launches planned, as multiple providers attempt to blanket the world in high-speed broadband coverage. And, according to Dave Helfgott, ceo of Phasor, it is new age antennas that hold the key to a future where quality connectivity is available anywhere – whether you are on a ship, a plane, or a speeding train. Says Helfgott: “These cutting-edge antennas are very different from the vast majority of today’s antennas. The new era of inflight entertainment and connectivity will be enabled by more powerful and lighter-weight softwaredefined electronically-steered antennas (ESAs). They are designed to conform to the fuselage of a commercial aircraft

– boosting performance while cutting the satellite can be lost along with drag and weight. the passengers’ Internet access and “These ESAs don’t have any moving connectivity," explains Helfgott. “Nextparts like today’s bulky mechanicallygeneration antennas can track a highsteered platforms. They also enable throughput equatorial GEO satellite airlines to leverage all the new satellite during a portion of a flight, and as capacity in space the aircraft moves regardless of orbit. toward the northern A Phasor antenna, pole it will seamlessly for example, can switch to a low earth New age antennas easily switch between constellation.” hold the key to this geosynchronous (GEO), With testing under new era of quality Medium Earth Orbit way – Phasor has (MEO) and Low Earth completed LEO and connectivity Orbit (LEO) satellites GEO satellite trials to provide a seamless gate-to-gate – a commercial jetliner offering with connected passenger experience.” Astronics is scheduled, after a maritime and land mobile launch later this year. And Helfgott says unfettered wifi access Tried and tested at 30,000ft will arrive as LEO capacity is From the passenger’s point of view, layered with traditional GEO bandwidth how are they more reliable? “With over the next five years. “Stay tuned, traditional antennas, when a plane the wait is nearly over!” • banks or turns, the connection with


FO_NewAge.indd 12

3/13/19 04:15 PM



Untitled-7 1

04/03/2019 08:59

Untitled-2 1

12/03/2019 20:06









half page template.indd 1

3/13/19 09:33 AM

Untitled-3 Untitled-1 2 1

21/02/2019 12:43 3/7/19 02:55 PM

Untitled-3 Untitled-1 3 1

21/02/2019 12:43 3/7/19 02:55 PM

16 / in conversation with...

onboard entertainment & connectivity

Steve King Ceo, Black Swan

Richard Williams finds out how Black Swan’s data solutions are enabling airlines to anticipate upcoming passenger trends


ome of the biggest brands in the world – McDonald’s, Google, Pepsi, Twitter and Unilever – use data analytics company Black Swan’s trend-tracking technologies to boost sales and brand loyalty. And now airlines are getting in on the act thanks to the tech company's recent partnership with Panasonic Aviation Corporation. Insights come from analysis of over 500 million social media conversations highlighting what passengers want onboard their flight. IAG’s Europebased low-cost offshoot LEVEL is one of the first to use such information to personalise the passenger experience. Steve King explains more.


Q. How is Black Swan able to provide insight into what customers really want? A : In a word, data. Using our proprietary trend-tracking technologies, machine learning and artificial intelligence, Black Swan can perform category audits of all types of social media conversations to map the marketplace and pull out incredible insights into the verticals our clients serve and want to serve better. For example, Pepsi is developing new products based on the insight we’ve cultivated through data analytics. That data filtered from millions and millions of social tweets and posts allows us to predict the types of products customers will want at least six months from now.

What’s exciting about the travel industry is we have a huge amount of invaluable information and insight into passenger behaviours and preferences – the kinds of movies and shows they want to watch, the foods they enjoy most, the diet choices they’re making. Black Swan can offer airlines a detailed view of what their passengers want on their flight, and help them deliver products to serve that demand.

Q. How are analytics transforming the airline passenger experience? A : We can offer an immediate insight into passenger sentiments. Traditionally, airlines have set benchmarks and scored their passenger experience based in part on surveys. That takes

We are developing solutions that enable the airlines to see their NPS score... and the predictive capabilities to prevent or alleviate a downturn time to turn-around and analyse – assuming you can get passengers to fill out the paperwork. Black Swan’s Trendscope algorithm tool in contrast can, for example, review years of social and historical data in no time, as well as current conversations in real time. Black Swan is developing solutions

that can take it one step further – enabling the airlines to see their Net Promoter Score (NPS), a metric used to gauge customer advocacy. That’s incredibly powerful in the fiercely competitive airline market. If the data is forecasting a dip in the airline’s NPS score, for example, we can leverage our predictive capabilities to help prevent or alleviate a downturn. That’s a game-changer that allows airlines to proactively identify what really needs to happen to truly maximise customer satisfaction. The airlines, like every business, must target a mass audience. But moving forward they can really offer a far more personalised service. Brands like McDonald’s, Google, Twitter, Starbucks – and increasingly the airline brands – are making products that delight people consistently, because we’ve listened so intently to what they’re saying socially about their product preferences. Through collaborations with Black Swan’s data and solutions, more airlines are seeing first-hand how they can push innovations in retail and inflight connectivity and entertainment to deliver what the passenger wants and needs at their fingertips in flight. It’s always been anecdotal, where the data has fallen short – until now. We can now show airlines without a doubt where they should invest in IFC and IFE to have a significant impact on their passenger experience and their ability to drive overall brand loyalty.


Conversation Black Swan.indd 16

3/13/19 04:16 PM

onboard entertainment & connectivity

in conversation with... / 17

Q. Tell us how Black Swan is improving the passenger experience A : Our joint venture with airline catering and retail company gategroup identifies passenger choices and behaviours to help airlines ensure they have the right products and menu items onboard – boosting satisfaction and cutting waste. Airlines will know with 90% accuracy what meals and duty-free items will sell, which will drive ancillary revenue and virtually eliminate waste. Through our work with LEVEL, passengers can use their personal devices to create accounts to make secure payments from their seat, which opens the door to a unique retail environment. The solution is integrated across multiple platforms, connectivity and payment providers, and provides LEVEL with a holistic insight into passenger usage and preferences. The advancements enabled by predictive analytics and connectivity represent a new age of inflight commerce and entertainment, far from the retail catalogues that were once tucked in the passenger seat pocket. Our partners Panasonic and gategroup track passenger interactions on seatback screens, within portals, passenger apps on travellers’ smartphones and devices, and EPOS systems, providing additional data to refine the retail offering throughout the entire journey. Black Swan is enabling airlines to provide the right entertainment content during flight, through innovative portals that offer up a personalised experience based on a traveller’s previous choices among movie genres, TV shows, gaming and menu items. It’s an Amazonlike experience we’ve all become accustomed to on the ground, and Panasonic’s Connected Traveler solution brings it to the inflight environment. blackswan.com •


Steve King is ceo of predictive analytics firm Black Swan. He earned a degree in Cognitive Science at Exeter University and worked in data optimisation before co-founding the business in 2011. Black Swan works with major consumer brands, including Pepsico, Panasonic, Google, Twitter, Tesco and GSK.


Conversation Black Swan.indd 17

3/13/19 04:16 PM











“Ancillary growth is imperative for all airlines, and digital is the great enabler to achieving that. However, many new collaborations must be forged between stakeholders to deliver the passenger the right offer at the right moment to enhance customer experiences and increase profitability at every stage of the passenger journey, whether that be through a mobile device or an IFE screen. FTE is working hard, and creatively, to bring those stakeholders together to learn best practice and forge new partnerships, and I am excited to get behind their efforts.”

Join 2000+ industry leaders at this free to attend exhibition REGISTER TODAY


Untitled-10 1

12/03/2019 10:09

FTE TNASI ad.indd 1

12/03/2019 09:39

p3 Aero systems benchmArk oF AircrAFt connectivity services Using trAnspArent & reAlistic User scenArios Active performance measurements Fast and flexible implementation of use cases into representative test environments to identify aircraft connectivity services performance using end user devices. Detailed results analysis allows to optimize system performance.

Passive performance measurements Unique solution for assessing passenger experienced quality of aircraft connectivity services. Analyses of passenger’s devices key performance parameters allows to monitor system performance and create market insights.

P3 aero systems Performance benchmark - an indePendent quality benchmark of AircrAFt connectivity services For Airlines, system sUppliers AnD service proviDers.

P3.indd half page 2template.indd 1

3/12/19 3/13/19 05:00 04:19 PM



Ready to fly Acquisition of the IFE business that was formerly part of Rockwell Collins has given digEcor a new lease of life, and a new name - Burrana - to go with it. Richard Williams reports


fter 18 months of talks and an injection of cash from Californian private equity firm JW Hill Capital, digEcor finally completed its deal to buy up the commercial IFE operation of Rockwell Collins at the start of this year. Integration with this significant business marked the start of a new chapter for the company – now to be known as Burrana. “Burrana is an indigenous Australian word meaning ‘to fly’,” said David Withers, formerly digEcor, and now Burrana ceo. “It is the history of innovation that binds these two organisations together as Burrana, and that is the main driver behind the acquisition.”

Range of products

The acquisition brings together the former Rockwell Collins PAVES family of seatback and overhead solutions, as well as PAVES On-demand, Total Entertainment System (TES), Enhanced Total Entertainment System (ETES) and content services, with digEcor’s GLIDE, Engage, Power, PSS and Lighting products. Withers added: “Burrana’s global employee base will deliver innovative cabin technologies reliably and affordably to the market, serving

safety videos and flying maps. Withers an installed base of more than 1,400 added: “Our global presence remains as aircraft and 300 customers, and is, with facilities in the UK, U.S., France, positioning us as the number three Mexico, Australia and player in the IFE China.” market.” The deal makes it possible to offer We have a complete Global presence linefitting options So where does he see cabin suite of for the company's the company in two products that overhead dropyears’ time? differentiates us down system, still “The market is used on many ready for a nimble, narrow-body aircraft. Withers innovative alternative. We have a complete cabin suite of products that believes this is a growing differentiates us from our competition market, as narrowand a flexible approach that makes body aircraft are us easy to do business with,” he said. now flying longer “We pride ourselves on listening routes, and airlines to customers and developing new appreciate the solutions to deliver on their needs. In importance of giving all their two years? Well, you can be assured we passengers won’t have been sitting back waiting!” access to Burrana.ae • onboardhospitality.com

FO_Digecor_V3.indd 19

3/20/19 09:31 AM



Head in the clouds Onboard headphones can make or break the inflight entertainment experience. Richard Williams checks out the latest offerings


The advantage of Global Inflight Products’ plush noise-cancelling Products headphones is that passengers can turn the volume down to hear the richness in the music that disappear disappears when the volume is too high. Headsets can be customised with branding. Meanwhile, its disposable earbuds (above) are available in a variety of specs. Packaging options allow airline airlines to create a ‘one-time use’ look or a more upscale gift: from a simple poly bag to a reusable zip box or pouch - both with branding. gipusa.com


AVID Products, an employee-owned company, has been offering audio and comfort solutions to travellers worldwide since developing the first pneumatic headset in 1951. The company uses in-depth research to develop cost-effective headphones, earbuds, and amenity items with custom branding options available. The Tempo and Clarity models are innovative headphones with premium sound, designed for comfort, with convenient carry cases. avidproducts.com


Long Prosper Enterprises has launched a new product line of onboard service items for airlines. It has a factory in Vietnam Vietnam, mainly manufacturing headsets at competitive prices. The company has also developed a cost-effective active noise-cancellation solution for its airline customers. With double speakers, its noise-cancelling headsets can effectively cancel around 90% of ambient noise without compromising sound quality, with a noise-cancelling performance of up to 25 decibels. longprosper.com


Take Your Pick_V5.indd 20

3/13/19 04:25 PM




Airlineheadphones.net is part of the Azusa Group, which owns a large factory in China with a production capacity of over six million airline headphones per month. It makes airline earphones, headsets, earbuds, disposable and noise-cancelling headphones, headphones and has ISO9002 accreditation. The company is increasingly focused focused on developing high-end headphones, including noise-cancelling headphones, touch-control Bluetooth headphones, and waterproof sports headphones. airlineheadphones.net


The GD2 ANC is a new active noisecancelling headphone set (below). It can be produced to meet each customer’s technical specifications, with a 40mm neodymium speaker element, soft leather-like earpads, and a high-end appearance. The ID-99 earbud is designed to sit more comfortably into the ear canal and so fits more passengers. Features include 10mm quality neodymium speakers which reduce external noise. i inflightdirect.com


B&O’s new premium H9i headphones feature a sleek, sophisticated look. They have an aluminium frame, and branded leather headband. These over-ear headphones are also equipped with advanced active noise cancellation technology, paired with the comfort of memory foam/lambskin ear cushions. They are flying on American Airlines First and Business Class and provide that airline’s premium customers with unmatched comfort and state-of-the art noise cancellation. bang-olufsen.com


Take Your Pick_V5.indd 21

3/13/19 04:25 PM

22 / HOW TO...


How to...

...make it bespoke Luke Miles, founder and creative director at New Territory, explains how to use emerging technologies to create bespoke passenger experiences UNDERSTAND THE JOURNEY


Before travel operators implement technology to enhance the passenger experience, they must understand it. What makes passengers tick? What are the big bugbears? For many, air travel is still quite a painful experience. By mapping out the highs and lows, operators can identify opportunities to use technology to help keep passengers happy and provide a consistently good experience.

At Passenger Technology Solutions (PTS) Luke will explore the role of technology in delivering bespoke passenger experiences. Join him in Hamburg, within the AIX halls on April 2 to learn more


Many airlines and airports are already using technology to enhance the journey, from RFID baggage tags to biometric passports. However, the industry’s use of technology is still in its infancy, despite the opportunity it holds to create a truly seamless, connected experience. For example, Augmented Reality could be used to give passengers a view of the cabin and the location of their seat while they wait to board; RFID could track the location of luggage; while facial recognition could analyse the emotional state of passengers so cabin crew can assess their comfort and wellbeing.


Despite the capabilities of tech, the importance of human interaction cannot be ignored. For the majority of passengers, it’s about the balance. They want technology to ease the process, but their experience with

crew members can often make or break the journey. Operators must ensure that technology and human interaction are synchronised to facilitate positive experiences that drive engagement and loyalty.


FACT FILE 60% of airlines have plans to use mobile apps to inform passengers about the location of their baggage Almost half (42%) of airlines are collaborating with third-party tech specialists

71% of airlines say they have investment planned for ‘biometric identity management’ technology Web check-in has now become ubiquitous – 95% of airlines offer it

Technology is often viewed as a silver bullet and, from a marketing and experimental point of view, it has been used to great success. However, greater collaboration between carriers and partnerships with suppliers are needed to integrate technology into the passenger journey. Technology has the power to introduce spontaneity to service outcomes, while machine learning and big data can enable operators to build profiles of their customers and their travel preferences to deliver a truly personalised experience. •


New Territory - How to v2.indd 22

3/13/19 04:26 PM



Making content relevant By utilising smart data analytics, Air Canada is working to optimise its IFE offering. Benjamin Coren finds out more


ir Canada has been working with Spafax to use its Spafax IQ data analytics service. This has helped it determine passengerviewing habits and, it hopes, ensured it provides the most relevant IFE. “We are drawing meaningful insights from our customers’ viewing habits and we have already seen ways in which we can optimise our IFE investment and provide more of what they love,” said an Air Canada spokesperson. “In a world with an ever-growing pool of content, we are working to ensure that sound analytics form the foundation of our curation strategy.” Spafax IQ takes data from multiple platforms and consolidates it into its cloud data analytics platform. The

information is analysed and presented as usable information on a set of dashboards showing category and item performance, media and advertising performance, and cost per engagement. Henry Gummer, vp entertainment, Spafax, said: “There are things we do that helps us understand how different demographics engage with content. We can’t be sure who exactly is in the seat but we can monitor and apply terrestrial habits from ground-based industries. “There’s always been a gap between the way those demographics perform on the ground and in the air. We’re using data from social networks too, harvesting insights to understand the best content to provide on each flight.” The software also features a

customised IQ Index for the carrier, which allows long-term planning of entertainment content. Airlines can also look at connectivity data to deliver better processes throughout the journey. This is information advertisers have not previously had access to and could potentially be prove valuable by defining exactly who an ad is reaching. “Going forward we will start to understand who the consumer is in the seat,” he added. “This will enable us to understand how they behave with content onboard, so we can offer tailored recommendations. “There are fun ways we can engage the passenger so they profile themselves through likes and dislikes and based on this we can present content they want.” •

THE AIR CANADA BRIEF Air Canada wanted a deeper understanding of customer preferences to ensure it provided relevant options and an improved customer experience. The carrier partnered with media agency Spafax

to launch Spafax IQ, allowing it to gather the data needed to deliver better entertainment products to customers as well as optimising its IFEC investment and revenue opportunities.


Case Study.indd 23

3/8/19 03:15 PM



Dreaming of The popularity of personal electronic devices and streaming services is making airlines think twice about seatback services, says Benjamin Coren


tablet, and those latter figures are expected only eatback entertainment remains an to rise. important part of the passenger Airlines clearly recognise the risk - or experience and many airlines say potential. United Airlines, for example, now they don't see that changing. But with the offers personal device entertainment onboard, introduction of better wifi services onboard presenting it as just another choice alongside and growing numbers of people glued to their the seatback facilities; while a spokesperson for smart devices, passengers could soon expect Air Canada said: “Wifi onboard complements to be able to use their own systems onboard seatback entertainment. The ability to watch and start turning away increasingly from the your favourite movie onboard, including newer seatback option. content than you can find on streaming services, More and more airlines are adding wifi services at the same time as being able to browse the onboard and prioritising connectivity efficiency. internet, catch up on work, or message friends, high-speed wifi With advancements in hardware, high only improves the overall is becoming more affordable customer experience. onboard, and peek over their “The convenience of the shoulder and you could soon seatback also plays an see passengers widely using important role - think of their personal electronic PED viewing is a family of four travelling devices (PEDs) to access their becoming a familiar favourite streaming services option: passengers like together. They would need to onboard – no matter how using a familiar device carry four phones, tablets or laptops with them in order to good the seatback options keep the family entertained! being offered are. Not to mention, watching the latest Blockbuster Be it Netflix, Disney NOW, Amazon Prime, Now on a five-inch screen, versus an up to 18-inch TV or Spotify, these services seem set to play screen - it is a very different experience.” a growing role in onboard viewing one way or Larry Meck, United's principal IFEC another as their subscriber base extends. partnerships, said: “The biggest impact is Netflix reported 137.1 million global users as on communication. Since personal device of Q3 2018 and in some destinations, such as entertainment is an 'invisible' product, we have the UK, the streaming service has overtaken more work to do to make sure our customers the popularity of traditional television services. know what to expect and are ready to access Whilst the majority (70%) of subscribers view that entertainment offering when they fly. streaming services via a TV, 15% view via a “Currently we communicate through channels laptop, 10% by smartphone and 5% by their


Streaming_V4.indd 24

3/12/19 04:11 PM



streaming like united.com, pre-departure emails, and our app so customers can preview the onboard content available. For PED viewing we have more work to do to ensure our offer is compatible with popular devices and the various operating systems and browsers passengers use.” Streaming services seem likely to play a role in the future of in-air entertainment but with no single technology or service relevant to everyone, it is partly a question of wait and see. Meck added: “Our strategy is to closely align our entertainment and technology offerings to the needs of our customers, and that means a multisolution approach. PED viewing is becoming a familiar option: passengers like using a familiar device, which is likely to have a crisp, new high resolution screen, updated at much higher frequency than we can on an aircraft.“ Key will be passenger feedback. The carrier has recently added free DIRECTV seatback entertainment on select 737 domestic flights to broaden its entertainment offer and has noted a positive impact of providing greater entertainment choice, with a direct connection to overall passenger satisfaction levels. As inflight wifi technology continues to mature and the cost of delivering it continues to decline, it is likely the choice of viewing options will only increase too but don't abandon the seatbacks just yet. Meck added: “We do not see that offsetting the need for us to provide a robust catalogue of airline-curated content. Rather, we see that as an opportunity to further invest in improving our passenger experience." •


Streaming_V4.indd 25

3/12/19 04:11 PM



beyond entertainment

It’s a revolution Display Interactive claims to be disrupting IFE with new solutions. Here Thierry Carmes, coo, explains the revolution that is moving us away from pure content towards true service delivery through IFE

Worldwide airlines are challenging their inflight and connectivity partners to offer turn-key profitable business cases, and IFEC systems are presented as the great revenue enabler. However, these are far more easily sold than revenue achieved, and this is why more service-focused solutions are now disrupting the industry with offerings that go way beyond entertainment. As NPS (Net Promoter Score) has become a driver for decisions in our industry, optimising the onboard experience is obviously key. However, every investment brings new pressure for ROI, and for IFE the revenue Innovative vendors are part is still missing. Tech disrupting the market vendors are struggling to with tech that goes come up with new B2B beyond infotainment and B2C models.

Revenue focus

Boosting inflight ancillary revenues is one strategy. IFE systems seem to be great enablers – their adoption, especially on single-aisle aircraft, has created new client touchpoints and business opportunities to

explore. But an entertainment-focused solution may not be the best for profitability.

Disrupt for success

Innovative vendors have already made this switch and are disrupting the market with a technology that goes beyond infotainment and covers a growing range of services: retail, connectivity, advertising, cabin management, flight reports and big data. The industry is still in an explorative phase, so being agile and examining performance are essential. There is a crucial need for a ‘test-and-learn’ approach at minimal cost: airlines need to be able to try new concepts or partners quickly and tech solutions should be flexible by design and not by contract. Processing data, to confirm passenger interests, is key to monetising behaviour with new ideas. It is not the tech system, but the airline that has to determine the onboard digital strategy, so suppliers of inflight solutions must be flexible, adaptable and create product that is easy to deploy. We have known for some time now – one size does not fit all. •


Opinion_V3.indd 26

3/13/19 04:28 PM

4 Leading Events 1 Week - 1 Destination

Don’t miss



The global event for the latest technologies and The IFEC Zone is an area within the Aircraft Interiors Defining the future of the global passenger experience industry. Four leading innovations shaping the future of the end-to-end Expo dedicated to In-Flight Entertainment & events, one week, one destination. Delivering content, driving Defining innovationthe andfuture of the global passenger experience passenger journey. Featuring a live Hackathon for Communications, theone largest of its kind globally, events, onecabin week, destination. Delivering content, dr developing connections to transform your business. Showcasing the latest the first time! showcasing the latest technology covering interiors, inflight entertainment and connectivity, passenger comfort, catering, retail developing connections transform Sho everything from servers to OTTtosystems to 5Gyour and business. VR. The perfect technology suppliers offerings andplatform softwarefor technology to create theto ultimate passenger experience. interiors, inflight entertainment and connectivity, passeng network do business with airlines and rail Register and at passengerexperienceweek.com operators looking to offer their passengers a more offerings and software technology to create the ultimate connected travel experience. Register at passengerexperienceweek.com


In co-operation with: Supported by:

Defining the future of the global passenger experience industry. Four leading Untitled-1 1 events, one week, one destination. Delivering content, driving innovation and

Organised Supporting by: organisation:

3/7/19 02:56 PM

Visit us at AIX booth no 4D11

BoardConnect The IFEC platform for the digital journey Passengers have come to expect the anytime, anywhere availability of a broad range of entertainment options, comprehensive service, shopping opportunities and access to the Internet. BoardConnect makes flying with your airline a digital experience. Lufthansa Systems GmbH & Co. KG | Marketing & Communications | Am Messeplatz 1 | 65479 Raunheim | info@LHsystems.com | www.LHsystems.com

Untitled-1 1

2018 World's Leading Inflight Entertainment Provider

18/02/2019 07:37 3/7/19 02:57 PM

Profile for BMI Publishing Ltd

Onboard Entertainment & Connectivity March/April 2019  

Onboard Entertainment & Connectivity March/April 2019