Inflight Entertainment & Connectivity Services: New Business Strategies Drive Growth
Partnerships between satellite operators and media content providers are transforming the industry
The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically reduced the demand for air travel both on domestic and international routes. It has severely impacted the aircraft utilization rate and financial health of the airlines. Most of the airlines were forced to halt their digital transformation journey due to weak financial capability. Airlines are focusing more on passenger safety rather than enhancing their inflight experience. As the demand for air travel comes back to pre-pandemic numbers and airlines will be able to achieve financial stability, the demand for IFEC will be growing at a steady rate.
Globally, FSCs are key providers of the IFEC services compared to the hybrid and LCCs. Most of the leading FSCs have more than a decade of experience in providing the IFEC to their passenger. They fly on long-haul routes and face tough competition from their peers. IFEC has become one of the important aspects under customer centricity which need to be further developed. It has been observed that most of the airlines that previously provided the screen on the back of passenger seats are replacing them with inflight Wi-Fi that can be easily connected to the passengers' personal electronic devices, such as cell phones, tablets, and laptops. It helps the airlines to save the cost on the line fit of the screens and also on investing in retrofit and aftermarket activity.
Furthermore, the bring-your-own-device concept helps in the aircraft weight reduction as IFEC hardware adds a significant amount of weight. LCCs are also looking forward to bringing in inflight entertainment to their passengers. Inflight connectivity is still far from the reach of LCCs because of the high cost of the service that is not in line with their business model.
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