In the News: “If you can’t beat them, join them!” Airframe manufacturers enter the W-IFE playing field – Inflight
Inflight’s Emma Kelly discusses airframers’ move into the wireless IFE space
In the March/April 2021 issue of Inflight magazine, Emma Kelly examines how airframers Airbus and Boeing are now playing an active role in the booming wireless IFE (W-IFE) sector, with both launching their own solutions and partnerships. “Their moves come as W-IFE is set to play an increasingly dominant role in a post-COVID-19 world as airlines seek to improve the passenger experience and increase passenger engagement and revenue-generating opportunities,” Kelly writes.
Addressing Airbus and their Open Software Platform (OSP) which brings them onto the W-IFE field, Kelly covers Bluebox’s deployment of W-IFE on Titan Airways (as announced December 2020) as the first Airbus OSP W-IFE delivery. Kelly also touches on the flexibility Bluebox built into its W-IFE integration for OSP that enabled Titan’s customer TCS World Travel to include additional functionality for its unique requirements.
Bluebox’s Head of Marketing, Catherine Brown, was interviewed for the article and she addressed the implications of the airframers entering into this space, calling it “an important milestone in the proliferation of infrastructure to support digitalisation in the cabin.”
As Kelly wrote: “The OEM move into the wireless space indicates the growing importance of digitisation of the in-flight experience, Brown suggests. ‘Though it may seem this is just a major shift in the hardware landscape for W-IFE, it signals an elevation and expanded opportunity for the digital – software-based – evolution of IFE.’ By shifting the focus to software rather than hardware, Brown says it will allow far greater creativity and opportunities for passenger engagement and ancillary revenues.”
“The portability of our software on [Bluebox Wow] was always part of our solution set and product roadmap,” Brown said. “We saw the opportunity to provide uniformity in the software and features available to passengers across a range of hardware platforms.”
As the article title reads: ‘If you can’t beat them, join them!” And with Bluebox’s partnership with Airbus on OSP, W-IFE has a whole new team on the field.
(Note: Inflight offers their magazine by subscription, which may be required to view the content)