Eclipse Global Connectivity and Display Interactive have signed a strategic agreement to provide end-to-end inflight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) solutions to airlines and business aviation operators worldwide. The agreement, which came into effect on 15 March, 2020, sees Eclipse Global Connectivity taking an equity position in Display Interactive (DI) and becoming its first industry-based shareholder.
“This agreement brings our relationship to a new level,” said Marc Pinault, CEO of Eclipse Global Connectivity. “We have a long-standing relationship with Display Interactive and we are confident that our respective partners and customers will see an immediate benefit from this partnership. We are combining the quality and flexibility of DI’s proven wireless solution for airlines with the technical, design and security expertise of our own connectivity systems, plus our long-time engineering and certification know-how.”
Display Interactive’s CEO, Tarek El Mitwalli gave further details, “Over the past 18 months, Display Interactive has invested heavily in the transformation of its wireless entertainment solution into an engagement and ancillary platform, focused on revenue generation. Adding connectivity will multiply revenue opportunities and open new business models for airlines.”
The partners are creating a ‘one-stop shop’ for airlines, to streamline the implementation process, roll-out and service operation. Airlines, including Qatar Airways, Corsair International, and the former Joon / Air France, all use on DI’s solutions. British Airways, Philippine Airlines, and Ethiopian airlines, among others, fly with Eclipse Technics, the aircraft modification arm of Eclipse Global Connectivity, solutions on board. Leveraging this expertise in technical design, kit manufacturing, STCs and engineering studies, both companies will offer an end-to-end IFEC solution under a single point of contact and a unique SLA (service level agreement), with a view to reducing costs and delays.
Eclipse Global Connectivity and DI are launching a new entity based in Shanghai, China, which will be jointly operated under a new name. The company plans to commence operations in mid-2020, providing a customised, localised version of the complete Eclipse Global Connectivity and Display Interactive IFEC solution, integrated into the Chinese aero and digital ecosystems.
“Our main goal is to serve Chinese airlines directly in-country,” stated Thierry Carmes, COO at DI. “This means customising our solution to fully meet airline- and business-partner-specific requirements, as well as supporting their programmes and operations locally on a day-to-day basis. We are keen to demonstrate that our IFEC model will work in China – with the same benefits and performance as elsewhere. This is an invigorating challenge, and a deep motivation for our local teams, particularly since many connectivity programs have not yet delivered expected results.”
“Airline demand for airborne connectivity in China is growing, but not satisfied yet,” explained Marc Pinault. “Our strategy is to bring solutions that are already in common use in Europe or the Middle East, and deliver them with the Chinese operator and passenger specifically in mind. Our shared intention is to adapt and to become an integral part of the Chinese IFEC ecosystem.”
Display Interactive and Eclipse Global Connectivity are looking forward to providing cost-effec- tive, innovative IFEC solutions that generate ancillary revenues, and being ready for when the aviation industry ramps-up service again in a few months. Their overriding aim is to offer a com- plete off-the-shelf solution from nose-to-tail, that fits all kinds of aircraft and delivers a visionary passenger experience and benefits for operators.