April 2, 2016 – Since the beginning of March, Dutch flagship carrier KLM has been trialling the AirFi box portable inflight entertainment (IFE) solution onboard Boeing B737 passenger aircraft serving the carrier’s daily flights between Amsterdam Schiphol Airport and Madrid, and Amsterdam Schiphol Airport and Istanbul.
Through to early summer (it is a four-month trial), passengers on these selected flights can use their personal mobile devices to connect to a free onboard wi-fi network created by AirFi boxes and positioned throughout the cabin in overhead bins. Once connected, passengers enter a KLM-branded environment called ‘KLM in the Cloud’. There, they can access newspapers, get destination information, browse a retail selection, chat seat-to-seat, join the KLM frequent flyer program or visit the ‘Kid’s Place’, which features short videos featuring KLM’s popular jumbo-jet personality, Bluey.
“The KLM-AirFi pilot brings content on board, without the need to make aircraft modifications. The feedback from the first weeks, both from our crew and responses to our survey, shows the interest of our customers. The ‘KLM in the Cloud’ platform functioned from day one and was welcomed by our passengers, and AirFi continues to make adjustments to the setup and usability,” commented Joost Blom, project manager – inflight product innovation at KLM.
“At the moment we have no embedded IFE on our single-aisle fleet, so adding a form of entertainment would expand our offer on our European routes. BYOD [bring your own device]is something our customers are doing regardless of our offer: people bring their devices loaded with entertainment and consume that during the flight,” he added.
During the four-month trial period, KLM is evaluating the content delivery capabilities, data collection opportunities, passenger uptake and operational feasibility of the AirFi portable IFE devices.
Below: A screenshot of the KLM IFE environment
“The light and portable AirFi closed-network IFE streaming concept isn’t just for low-cost or holiday carriers,” stated Job Heimerikx, CEO of AirFi. “Every airline can benefit from better digital services, more entertainment options and a means by which to stay connected to the traveler throughout his or her journey. It doesn’t have to be a drawn out affair. We can get an airline up and running with its own branded, closed-network streaming entertainment solution in mere weeks.”