Lufthansa Systems has identified growing demand in the aviation industry for partially or fully financed IFEC solutions, and in response is cooperating with technology partners to offer a flexible refinancing approach for making IFEC accessible to airlines of all sizes by offering different business models.
“Many providers offer financing models, but they often lack an understanding of the aviation industry. We are closing this gap with our expertise in IFEC solutions and with BoardConnect, an open IT platform that allows hosted applications to be integrated into the IFEC system,” said Jan-Peter Gänse, head of passenger experience products & solutions at Lufthansa Systems.
Lufthansa Systems’ first partner for partially and fully financed IFEC solutions is Mahata Aero Teknologi, which has developed an e-commerce solution based on commercial offers and advertising partners, which generate revenues in order to refinance internet services. This makes it possible to allocate costs in the long-term if necessary, so that airlines can offer their passengers free internet access.
According to Lufthansa Systems, this approach proved itself in practice in mid-January, when Indonesian low-cost airline, Citilink celebrated the official launch flight of its first aircraft fitted with the free connectivity service – just six months after the contract was signed in summer 2018. Mahata Aero Teknologi is working alongside Lufthansa Systems as well as Inmarsat (which is supplying the broadband Internet connection with its global GX Aviation network) and Lufthansa Technik (which is providing the hardware and performing the installation design and certification).
“Lufthansa Systems brought us together with its partners Inmarsat and Lufthansa Technik so that we can cooperate with the world’s leading connectivity experts,” said Iwan Setiawan, managing director of Mahata Aero Teknologi. “The first two customers using our solution have shown that we can provide models to suit low-cost carriers as well as airlines with large fleets.”
This successful cooperation and smooth implementation impressed Citilink’s parent company, Garuda Indonesia enough to order the same setup for its fleet, with the contract signed in December 2018.
“Demand for on-board Internet is very high, particularly in the Asian market. The new financing models, which are tailored to the individual needs of each airline, also give rise to new opportunities and partnerships in the market,” said Olivier Krüger, CEO at Lufthansa Systems.