Airlines in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region were not early adopters of broadband in-flight connectivity (IFC). However, according to Inmarsat GX Aviation value-added reseller SITAONAIR, momentum is building in the region because operators are keen to unlock the value of the connected aircraft.
SITAONAIR’s customers in the APAC region, including Philippine Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Aircalin and Thai Airways International, are already flying with high-speed Inmarsat GX IFC. Meanwhiel, All Nippon Airways and Taiwanese start-up Starlux Airlines are expected to come online by the end of this year, said Katrina Korzenowski, VP Asia-Pacific, SITAONAIR.
“Airlines in regions like APAC are, in many ways, strides ahead of the rest of the world when it comes to the trajectory of their IFC,” commented Korzenowski. “Increasing passenger demand in these regions signals a continued boost for airlines meeting this demand with IFC services, both from a reputational, and potential, an ancillary revenue standpoint, making it the single biggest market for such services.”
Passenger connectivity services continue to drive airline investment plans, but over the last two years there has been “a huge shift” towards airlines keen to explore the potential of the nose-to-tail connected aircraft, Korzenowski continued.
“As the technology has matured, the spirit of innovation and partnership has begun to influence current and future investment priorities for airlines. Airline executives want to embrace the connected aircraft opportunities of growing ancillary revenues, enhancing passenger experience and improving airline, passenger safety and operational efficiencies,” she said.
“Airlines know their existing or new generation fleets need to be connected with their ground operations. They also know they need to empower their talent with the digital tools they expect, while delivering on key performance indicators, such as on-time performance.”
SITAONAIR’s customers in the region are adopting services such as its electronic flight bag (EFB) Weather Awareness Solution (eWAS), which uses real-time forecast updates through nose-to-tail connectivity, its AIRCOM FlightTracker solution, and connected CrewTab solution. The latter is a tablet interface that enhances cabin crew activities by digitizing paper-based processes and allows them to deliver a personal passenger service using individual customer information. “When connectivity-enabled, CrewTab delivers even greater benefits to cabin crews in real-time, such as up-to-date catering information from the galley,” explained Korzenowski.