Once again, this year’s edition has been a tremendous one. Not only a step beyond, but a great leap. The IFEC zone, initially attended by the happy few of airlines equipped with seatback screens, has been widely visited by smaller carriers.
The boom of wireless IFE
Those new attendants have understood that IFE has become truly affordable. Such service is no longer the preserve of the big ones.
On the suppliers side, last year one thought that their offering had reached a ceiling, with the first rise and fall, as well as market concentration. AIX 2019 refuted this assertion. Airlines wishing to bring onboard wireless IFE can now choose among 30+ solutions, from plain hardware to full turn key platforms.
Beyond IFE…Inflight Services
One big question still remains for all the attendees of the IFEC zone. When IFE onboard offering is a no-brainer when it comes to long haul flights, and is consequently included in the ticket price, the ROI topic is far more sought after when it comes to short and medium haul. How to offset the costs of this must-have feature in the making?
The good news comes to the systems capabilities themselves: beyond plain entertainment, with state-of-the-art software integrated into those platforms, airlines can also manage cabin services, and even facilitate ground operations, turning their IFE into a comprehensive Inflight Services Platform.
Game changers in the seatback market?
Last year the world was simple for seatback screens. Airlines had the choice between Panasonic, Thales & Safran (ZII). Two new offering have made big noise this year: Burrana (formerly Digecor who acquired Rockwell Collins’ IFE business), and the newcomer Mythopoeia who secured Air Greenland and Rossiya. Those newcomers both blow a wind of flexibility surfing on the latest available technologies.
Soon in your cabin! (At the industry time-scale)
Innovations at AIX Hamburg is at every aisle’s corner. One of the most promising is on the windows side: Collins aerospace’s 100% virtual window, and Vision Systems’ ActiVision, interactive touch window.
Another trend promised to a bright future is the rise of the LiFi. Although consumers electronic devices are far from embracing such technology, the airline industry is definitely preparing to serve this standard since it will generate huge hardware & wires-related direct and indirect costs savings.