APEX2014: Philippines sees BYOD as future of IFEC

OnAIr's Ian Dawkins and PAL's Ana Leah Rodriquez celebrate the success of its Wi-Fi-based IFE.
OnAIr’s Ian Dawkins and PAL’s Ana Leah Rodriquez celebrate the success of its Wi-Fi-based IFE.

Philippine Airlines (PAL) is expanding the use of its Wi-Fi-based “Bring Your Own Device” IFEC service, which uses OnAir Play as its backbone.

PAL is to install wireless IFE on a further five of its Airbus A330s, as well as six A340s, only four months after launching the service.

One A330 is already equipped, but this latest addition means all its long-range aircraft will now be kitted out with OnAir’s full IFEC package of mobile phone and Wi-Fi services, and wireless IFE.

Ana Leah Rodriquez, PAL’s head of marketing and ancillary services, said the OnAir Play Wi-Fi-based IFEC on-demand service had been introduced on board PAL in May this year.

The system allows passengers to watch movies, listen to music and read material on their own devices and is a low-cost, flexible upgrade from OnAir’s connectivity products.

The system is branded as PAL’s “iN-AiR” service and offers 26 movies, 40 TV shows, 40 audio albums and six magazines.

PAL decided not to fit IFEC screens in business class on its new aircraft, meaning that passengers can only use their own tablets, computers and smartphones to access the content. This has proved both reliable and popular, said Rodriquez, although the airline may also hand out tablets to business class passengers if they don’t have their own.

Ian Dawkins, CEO of OnAir, who presented PAL with a trophy to mark its success with the company’s products, said: “There is no better proof of an airline’s confidence in your products than a follow-on fleet extension order within such a short timeframe.

“PAL has paved the way with our inflight Wi-Fi, mobile phone service and W-IFE. We are delighted that the combination has proved such a success for them. We expect this to become an industry standard.”

He added: “The number of devices passengers carry is increasing, the expectation of ubiquitous connectivity is rising and the desire for autonomy over content consumption is growing.

“Passengers can now use their own devices to connect to the internet, check email, text messages and voicemail, update social media, and choose from a wide selection of on-demand content.”

PAL’s B777-300ER aircraft are also equipped with Mobile OnAir and Internet OnAir. The B777-300s and new A330-300s are deployed on the flag carrier’s international route network.

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