David Villarreal, Signal Lamp Partners; Ian Walberg, Airborne Interactive; and Neil James, Signal Lamp Entertainment. Image: Maxim Sergienko

Signal Lamp Entertainment (SLE) today announced plans to acquire Airborne Interactive. The move is an effort to create a single entity capable of deploying an in-flight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) system that offers an OEM-agnostic advertising and content distribution solution. The acquisition brings together SLE’s expertise in content distribution and advertising and Airborne’s decades-long experience in passenger user interfaces, seat apps and mapping products under one portfolio to address many airlines’ biggest obstacle: modifying legacy IFEC software across mixed fleets, without overly impacting resources or schedules, and also yielding financial returns quickly.

According to Neil James, SLE’s chief commercial officer, airline customers “love the agnostic advertising and content distribution platform” but are not sure how to implement it across disparate IFE OEM platforms quickly and at a reasonable cost. “Well, with the acquisition of Airborne, we gain over 20 years experience working on virtually all IFEC platforms, map technology, GUIs and seat apps,” he says. “We can truly envision the business outcome and deliver the solution.”

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A strengthened SLE also means new features, applications and advertising products that will help airlines maximize the value of their IFEC platforms. “From compelling seat apps, to integrating multiple IFEC platforms together into the global advertising eco-system, together we can offer end-to-end solutions,” says Ian Walberg, CEO, Airborne Interactive.

David Villarreal, managing partner, Signal Lamp Partners, stresses that the acquisition will yield more than technological advancements: “[It] also allows us to assure airlines that we can provide a total solution – from idea to implementation.”