Eurowings aircraft equipped with BoardConnect Portable

Lufthansa Systems' Norbert Muller and BoardConnect Portable.
Lufthansa Systems’ Norbert Muller and BoardConnect Portable.

Eurowings passengers can now enjoy premier entertainment on their own smartphones and tablets via Lufthansa Systems’ BoardConnect Portable, choosing from more than 400 songs, blockbuster movies, TV shows, games and numerous audiobooks.

Lufthansa Systems has completed the biggest go-live of a portable IFE solution for a well-known airline to date.

More than 70 aircraft – nearly the entire Eurowings A320 fleet – were equipped with BoardConnect Portable over the weekend. The remaining aircraft will follow by the middle of the month.

Immediately after boarding, when the plane is still on the ground, passengers can pass the time before take-off using the entertainment programme. They can decide in advance which features they want to use during the flight and view the latest blockbusters in their entirety even on shorter flights, because the content remains available after landing until the aircraft is at the gate.

Along with the entertainment options, including music and audiobook streaming via Napster as well as current films and TV shows, the system called Wings Entertain offers access to the onboard shop, the menu and information about airports and cities.

Another popular feature is the moving map, which shows the aircraft’s current position.

BoardConnect Portable

Oliver Wagner, CEO of Eurowings, said: “An innovative IFE solution like BoardConnect Portable fits very well with our business model. With Wings Entertain, we are offering our passengers a modern entertainment platform and thus improving their travel experience.

“And not only that, thanks to our large partner network and the ability to integrate paid content and marketing campaigns, we can generate additional revenues with the new IFE system.”

Lufthansa Systems says BoardConnect Portable is even easier to use and more flexible than the conventional BoardConnect solution.

The advantage of the all-in-one solution is that all of the technical components needed for an IFE system – such as a server and access points – are combined in a single device called Mobile Streaming Unit (MSU). An MSU is about the size of a conventional tablet, weight less than 1.5 kg and can be brought on board easily during regular flight operations.

Since they do not require elaborate cabling, MSUs qualify as non-permanently installed equipment and can be mounted or removed, for example in the galley or in overhead compartments, without affecting other components in the aircraft.

This eliminates high costs for hardware, fitting and certification and enables the system to be transferred immediately for further use in leased aircraft as well. An integrated LTE modem allows rapid wireless updates of content while the aircraft is on the ground.

“BoardConnect Portable was unveiled in the fall of 2015, and right from the start there was great interest particularly from niche airlines with smaller fleets,” said Olivier Krüger, CEO of Lufthansa Systems.

“But the flexible use and reliability of the application won over other, larger airlines as well. We are proud that we were able to gain a customer like Eurowings in such a short period of time and install Portable so quickly on the entire fleet.”

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