Connectivity takeup and revenues to boom by 2027, finds report

According to a new report by Euroconsult, a global consulting firm, more than 23,000 commercial aircraft will be fitted with inflight connectivity systems by 2027, an increase from 2017’s figure of 7,400 aircraft. The research, published in the Prospects for In-Flight Entertainment & Connectivity report, has found that new-generation satellite systems and air-to-ground (ATG) networks will increase available bandwidth, as well as decreasing costs and enabling further customization and value-added services that benefit the customer experience.

“In January 2018, around 90 airlines had either installed or committed to install in-flight connectivity (IFC) solutions,” said Pacôme Revillon, CEO of Euroconsult. “Offering connectivity was first seen as a differentiating factor, however as more and more airlines provide connectivity, offering in-flight wifi starts to become a must-have in order to keep a competitive positioning in the extremely challenging airline market.”

“In the current take-up phase, we have witnessed an evolution of the pricing models applied by airlines to their passengers, from free access to a premium applied by the hour, by flight or on a monthly basis, as airlines try to find the ideal business model to lighten the burden of connectivity solution provision,” added Revillon. “For airline connectivity suppliers, we estimate that revenues from IFC topped US$1.2 billion in 2017 and should reach US$8.7 billion by 2027 for commercial aviation alone.”

Euroconsult has also found that the ability of airlines to support video streaming on a large scale will be a ‘game changer’ in the industry, with revenue per aircraft per year rising steadily in the coming years, matching growing demand for bandwidth.

The report states that a drive to improve profit margins, and to benefit from economies of scale, will favor vertical integration and consolidation in the IFC value chain. Competition will be strong between leading suppliers and new entrants, which the company’s currently lists as Panasonic Avionics, Gogo, Thales InFlyt, Global Eagle, Inmarsat and ViaSat.
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Alasdair joined the team in 2015 and works across a number of titles and websites for UKi Media & Events. He has been a journalist for 10 years, covering everything from travel and technology to sport and entertainment, and brings a wealth of experience, and pedantry, to the team. Away from the office, he is a celebrated snood connoisseur, determined to cycle no matter what the weather decides to hurl from the sky, and driven by a quest to find the very finest, and more importantly the next, slice of cheesecake.

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