SITAONAIR was celebrating the continuing roll-out of connectivity with Philippine Airlines, and a contract win with Taiwanese start-up Starlux Airlines.
But what is happening behind the scenes?
SITAONAIR CEO David Lavorel said: “We still see a split in the market – some airlines are just cabin connectivity focused, while others, typically the more mature and larger operations, are saying what else can we use this broadband connectivity pipe for?”
“There are a number of things you can do, such as real-time weather.”
Philippine Airlines (PAL) has now equipped 21 of its aircraft with Inmarsat GX and will be offering complimentary Wi-Fi through its myPAL platform to passengers on US, Canada and London flights.
Philippine Airlines President and Chief Operating Officer, Jaime Bautista, said: “We are delighted to have long-term partner SITAONAIR join us on our journey towards achieving the coveted 5-Star Skytrax rating.
“We are taking our inflight passenger experience to the next level with SITAONAIR’s nose-to-tail inflight connectivity services over the high-speed capabilities of GX Aviation.
“We have high hopes that our partnership will help us achieve our mission of enhancing the total passenger experience while achieving operational efficiency.
“Our message to our passengers: ‘Fly on PAL’s long-haul routes and enjoy inflight connectivity at its finest’.”
In another announcement Taiwanese start-up carrier, Starlux Airlines, is gearing up for its commercial launch by announcing its partnership with SITAONAIR to bring inflight connectivity (IFC) to its passengers.
What’s more, its portal is expertly integrated within airlines’ existing passenger manifest. This allows seamless synchronisation of the latest passenger information and requirements which are recorded in the airline’s customer relationship management (CRM) system.
Connecting Internet ONAIR with this source of customer data enables Starlux to extend its personalised passenger offerings from ground to air, to promote custom price plans and tailored content depending on passenger budget, seat class, frequent flyer status, search histories, or shopping preferences.
And what does SITAONAIR expect to see over the next few years?
“There will be big need to manage the passenger experience,” Lavorel said. “Speeds on the aircraft are always going to be less than on the ground.”
“I think over the next five years we will see a big change in the way that people are authenticated. The effects of 5G will be to lower the barrier to payment.”
And what about flight tracking?
Lavorel said: “Most airlines have done at least the bare minimum in terms of the ICAO mandate in terms of tracking.
“One our side it has been a very busy year for us – we have about 3,000 aircraft being tracked, 1,100 of which are active on space-based ADS-B with Aireon.”