Two for the price of one in this week’s PME Interview. For airlines, distributors and content service providers, Éric Lauzon, Inflight Entertainment Manager at Air Canada, discusses how the airline has devised innovative ways of helping passengers with visual or hearing impairment enjoy the inflight entertainment on Air Canada. Then Éric reveals some of the exciting changes to this years’ TV Market. It’s now bigger, better and re-launched as the APEX Multi Media Market held this year in Prague. If you’re involved in any aspect of inflight entertainment whether as an airline, a CSP or a distributor of movies or TV programs, this is a must see interview.
Take a flight on a modern wide bodied aircraft and you can guarantee personalized in-flight entertainment at every seat. Fly on a narrow bodied aircraft and chances are that there will be little or no entertainment apart, perhaps, from a moving map display. So the race is on to equip the world’s narrow body fleet with wireless in-flight entertainment, or WIFE for short, streamed to passengers own portable electronic devices. It’s already a crowded market with airlines able to choose from more than a dozen competing solutions. To throw some light on the technology involved and the potential market for would be suppliers, Steve Harvey talks to the VP of Strategic Partnerships at Global Eagle, Patrick Prefontaine.
The industry continues to see consolidation among airlines and IFEC suppliers as well. Last year eyebrows were raised when Rockwell Collins acquired ARINC and subsequently announced the launch of a new product, “The Cabin Connect Suite” combining inflight entertainment and connectivity. At last year’s APEX EXPO, Steve Harvey spoke with Duc Huy Tran, Director of Marketing and Business Development to find out more about the Rockwell Collins strategy.
From October this year, airlines will be liable for fraudulent use of credit cards when used for inflight purchases unless they adapt to the latest chip and pin technology. The rule change could cost the airlines millions or more in lost revenue if they decide to switch off redundant credit card readers. Michael Planey of HMPlaney Consultants explains what’s happening to Steve Harvey.
We take it for granted these days that new wide bodied aircraft will have screens fitted in every seat to keep passengers entertained. However the narrow body market is a very different matter with only 30% of new aircraft supplied with a personalized entertainment system. Competition is heating up to offer a relatively inexpensive IFE system on the remaining 70%. There are no less than 16 companies competing to stream content to smart phones and tablets. One of the first was Lufthansa Systems BoardConnect which launched back in 2011. Since then more airlines have signed with BoardConnect. To see what the company is up to now, Steve Harvey met with Senior Vice President BoardConnect, Norbert Mueller.