Travellers flying with QantasLink, the Australian regional subsidiary carrier of Qantas Group, can soon enjoy free wireless inflight entertainment (W-IFE) on board. The airline is deploying Wow W-IFE systems from Bluebox Aviation Systems across its fleet, initially on its Airbus A320 aircraft, then expanding to its Fokker F100, Boeing 717, and Alliance Airlines’ Embraer E190 aircraft.
Passengers can access IFE content including movies, TV, audio books and podcasts over a captive wireless network via their own personal electronic devices such as cellphones or tablets. Access to the Bluebox Wow system will be integrated with the Qantas Entertainment app, but the entertainment will also be available app-free with simple browser access for anyone who does not have the app loaded on their device.
QantasLink has opted for the aircraft-powered version of Bluebox Wow, with automated PA Pause functionality so passengers won’t miss crew announcements during their flight. The aircraft-powered hardware, a compact unit that can be stowed in the overhead stowage bins, recently received an EASA STC for the Airbus A320 Family aircraft, and will be modified for use on the other aircraft types in QantasLink’s fleet.
“Recently receiving our STC on the Airbus A320 Family for our aircraft-powered version of the Bluebox Wow system, and now being able to announce Qantas’ selection of Bluebox Wow for its QantasLink network, are two exciting and very positive milestones for us to mark as our industry begins to emerge from the global pandemic,” said David Brown, business development director at Bluebox.
“It’s not insignificant either that we’re demonstrating that our W-IFE systems can replicate offerings of traditional aircraft avionics-based installed systems and proving the value of low-cost W-IFE systems across larger fleets,” added Brown. “Just as Bluebox Wow expanded the market for IFE in its original battery-operated form, we’ll now see it capture more of the W-IFE market, given its lower cost of deployment and digital platform scope for everything from entertainment to touch-free retail and to even more as digital in-flight services develop.”