Lufthansa Systems says it is cooperating with technology partners to offer a flexible new refinancing approach for making on-board entertainment and Internet attractive to airlines of all sizes with different business models.
Jan-Peter Gänse, Head of Passenger Experience Products and Solutions at Lufthansa Systems, said: “Many providers offer financing models, but they often lack an understanding of the aviation industry.
“We are closing this gap with our expertise in IFEC solutions and with BoardConnect, an open IT platform that allows hosted applications to be integrated into the IFEC system.”
Lufthansa Systems’ first partner for partially and fully-financed IFEC solutions is Mahata Aero Teknologi. Their e-commerce solution is based on commercial offers and advertising partners, which generate revenues in order to refinance the Internet services.
This makes it possible to allocate costs in the long-term if necessary, so that airlines can offer their passengers free Internet access.
This new approach has already proven itself in practice. In mid-January, the Indonesian airline Citilink celebrated the official launch flight of the first aircraft with the new, free connectivity service – just six months after the contract was signed in the summer of 2018.
Mahata Aero Teknologi is working alongside Lufthansa Systems in addition to Inmarsat and Lufthansa Technik.
While Inmarsat, the leading satellite provider, is supplying the broadband Internet connection with its global GX Aviation network, Lufthansa Technik is providing the hardware and performing the installation design and certification.
Iwan Setiawan, Managing Director of Mahata Aero Teknologi, said: “Lufthansa Systems brought us together with its partners Inmarsat and Lufthansa Technik so that we can cooperate with the world’s leading connectivity experts.
“The first two customers using our solution have shown that we can provide models to suit low-cost carriers as well as airlines with large fleets.”
It says this successful cooperation and smooth implementation impressed Citilink’s parent company, Garuda Indonesia enough to order the same setup for its fleet. The contract for this was signed in December 2018.
“We are very proud of these two projects and the successful cooperation with our partners. The demand for on-board Internet is very high particularly in the Asian market. The new financing models, which are tailored to the individual needs of each airline, also give rise to new opportunities and partnerships in the market,” said Olivier Krüger, Chief Executive Officer at Lufthansa Systems.
Citilink is a low-cost carrier and subsidiary of Garuda Indonesia, Indonesia’s National airline. With a fleet of 51 aircraft, Citilink flies to national destinations as well as Dili in East Timor year-round.