Air Seychelles has announced the integration of their new inflight entertainment system. Available on A320neo and ceo aircraft from August 1st, the system will bring music, TV shows, movies and games to personal devices on all flights. Dubbed by the airline ‘seyStream’ the system is provided by leading IFEC vendor AirFi.
According to Air Seychelles, seyStream will have its content rotated on a twice a month basis. This means that even the most frequent traveler should be able to find something new. As well as entertainment content, the system includes a dynamic 3D map display to track the aircraft’s position in real-time, and a section about Air Seychelles including destination guides, fleet information and ancillary services.
Remco Althuis chief executive officer of Air Seychelles said in a statement,
“Our aim is to simplify the traveling experience of our guests and with seyStream we expect to provide an entertainment platform that is of high quality, fast, reliable and easy to use in addition to delivering a sustainable service offering onboard the aircraft.”
Passengers wishing to use seyStream will need to bring their own device as well as headphones. Any device with a browser should work, including laptops, smartphones and tablets. The new system will be available on the carrier’s A320neo and A320ceo aircraft from the 1st August 2019.
seyStream provided by AirFi
Wireless IFEC specialist AirFi landed the deal with Air Seychelles back in April. It was announced in June as part of a trio of new customer orders including Air Arabia and Vietnamese start-up Bamboo Airways. At the time, Althuis commented on the partnership, saying,
“AirFi will allow Air Seychelles to operate more efficiently because with the elimination of seatback screens, guests will need to use their own devices and headsets to stream the entertainment content. Therefore, with less onboard equipment and less impact in the weight, Air Seychelles will be able to better generate its fuel efficiency.”
For Air Seychelles, AirFi is providing both the content and the hardware for the seyStream service.
Research has shown AirFi to be the largest provider of portable IFEC systems in the world, supplying an estimated one in two deployments worldwide. It is the fifth-largest wireless IFEC supplier by numbers of aircraft served.
A reduction in weight
Systems like seyStream are becoming more common throughout the aviation world. Over the past couple of years, American Airlines and United have both ditched their seatback screens, at least on domestic flights. Hawaiian Airlines scrapped screens on their new A321neo aircraft, with the CEO stating that passengers were ignoring their screens and using their own devices anyway.
Most recently, Gulf airline Etihad has announced it will remove seatback screens on its A320 fleet. It estimates that this move will save 18 tons in weight annually, which it says will save significant amounts in terms of fuel costs and associated CO2 emissions.
Clearly, lugging the equivalent of several hundred small TVs and DVD players around the world on a plane is going to add significantly to the weight. According to the Telegraph, the cabling alone would add a cost of over $88,000 to each aircraft’s operating costs annually (based on a Boeing 767).
So, while some longer haul flights and premium airlines may retain seatback screens going forward for shorter flights on narrowbody aircraft, passengers should be prepared for a future that is BYOD based.