The organizers of Passenger Experience Week, a series of events taking place in Hamburg, Germany from April 2-4 that have announced that the event will have a strong lineup in the onboard connectivity and IFE sector. The event includes Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) with its In-Flight Entertainment & Communications (IFEC) Zone featuring more than 100 leading suppliers, including Panasonic, Thales, Bluebox, Gogo and Honeywell Aerospace, who will be showing the latest systems to address the increasingly popular ultra long-haul sector.
The advent of the fuel-efficient Airbus A350 and Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft has enabled flights of more than 17 hours, with Singapore Airlines, Air New Zealand and Qantas all entering ultra long-haul – and those lengthy flight times necessitate more and better IFE and connectivity systems. These captive passenger audiences also present an ancillary revenue opportunity – important as such revenues have reached US$82.2bn across the airline industry, accounting for almost 11% of global revenues.
As an example, at the Expo SkyLights will be demonstrating how cinematic VR can give premium passengers the feeling of being in their own private cinema, enjoying the latest movie releases in 3D, 2D and 180° VR. The company’s AlloSky VR Headset model is both wi-fi and Bluetooth enabled, as well as being tether-to-seat ready.
However, passengers still enjoy seatback IFE – indeed research by IATA has revealed that 54% of passengers would choose to watch digital content on a seat-centric system, rather than their own device (36%). To satisfy this market, a number of suppliers will showcase technologies in the IFEC Zone, including digEcor, which will demonstrate its Glide embedded IFE system, a customizable, open platform system that is easily integrated with in-seat power, LED lighting and cabin crew services.
Personalization through technology
IFEC hardware and software is also an important factor for airlines wishing to create a personalized passenger experience. For example, improvements in real-time data analytics are enhancing operators’ ability to drive ancillary revenues through customer targeting and onboard retail opportunities.
Another part of of Passenger Experience Week, Passenger Technology Solutions (PTS) will showcase innovative ways to enhance the end-to-end passenger journey, including big data analytics, machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual reality (VR) technologies in personalizing the passenger experience.
Completing Passenger Experience Week 2019, the World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo (WTCE) will see more than 350 suppliers of travel catering, onboard retail and passenger comfort products welcome rail, airline and cruise buyers looking to source new products. Meanwhile the Passenger Experience Conference, running on April 1, will see experts discuss the latest trends and insights that could shape the future of the aviation industry.