Image via Vistara

APEX Insight: Domestic Indian airline Vistara will introduce the Bluebox Wow wireless IFE solution across its Airbus A320 fleet in August, subject to regulatory approvals. The carrier has also revealed a new menu-pricing model called Vistara Freedom Fares.

From this August, passengers travelling on any of Vistara’s twenty-one Airbus A320 aircraft will be able to stream more than 70 hours of video and audio content to their personal electronic devices. The carrier’s newly announced wireless in-flight entertainment (IFE) system, Vistara World, will be powered by the Bluebox Wow portable wireless streaming platform and offered to passengers free of charge.

The new partnership with Vistara marks the first Indian airline customer for Bluebox. With Global Eagle as the content service provider, Bluebox Wow will be equipped with content including music from a range of genres, Bollywood and Hollywood movies, Indian and international short programs, and reading material such as Vistara’s in-flight magazine.

It is yet to be confirmed whether Bluebox Wow will be deployed across additional Vistara aircraft in the future, but Bluebox’s head of Marketing, Catherine Brown, said the company has the provisions to do so. Vistara committed to 50 A320neo family aircraft at this year’s Farnborough International Airshow (the airline placed a firm order for 13 A320neos from the OEM and 37 A320neo family aircraft from lessors).

“Together with the introduction of wireless streaming of IFE content, the attractive bundled features will provide more choices and value to customers.” – Sanjiv Kapoor, Vistara

The announcement regarding Vistara World was made alongside the reveal of the carrier’s Vistara Freedom Fares menu-pricing model, which includes a new Economy Lite option for passengers who do not want complimentary meal service. Instead, Economy Lite passengers will have access to buy-on-board service. Vistara’s ‘Economy Lite’ fares are not upgradeable, non-changeable and non-refundable.

“Our new fare model also addresses customer feedback related to change and cancel fees,” explained Sanjiv Kapoor, chief strategy and commercial officer, Vistara. “With Vistara Freedom Fares, we’re offering flexi fares at reasonable add-on rates to standard fares, and in exchange giving customers much lower or zero cancel fees along with other enhanced benefits. Together with the introduction of wireless streaming of in-flight entertainment content, the attractive bundled features will provide more choices and value to customers and also help us enhance overall customer satisfaction and experience.”

Previously, Vistara had been using BAE Systems’ IntelliCabin wireless IFE solution after being announced as the launch customer in 2015.