Bluebox and FFLYA confirm live payments from Blueview over Iridium Certus Network

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Joint test proves viability of integration of FFLYA solution as another connectivity option for the Blueview digital service platform

Bluebox Aviation Systems Ltd. (Bluebox) and FFLYA Ltd. (FFLYA) have conducted successful ground tests of credit card payments over the Iridium Certus satellite network. The tests involved live payment transactions completed on an iPad for the purchase of in-flight entertainment bundles from Bluebox’s Blueview digital services platform. The purchases were sent wirelessly from the iPad to a Bluebox Wow portable wireless unit which was connected to the FFLYA router, and that router was connected through a patch antenna to the Iridium Certus satellite network. The payment was then validated by a payment provider and the purchase confirmed on the iPad.

The significance of the successful tests is the validation of a low-cost, low-weight connectivity solution enabling the award-winning Blueview digital services platform to provide live credit card payment transactions over a LEO satellite network.

“For Bluebox, ensuring our customers have choice – choice of digital services, choice of hardware system and choice of connectivity solution – is central to everything we do,” said James Macrae, CTO, Bluebox. “Airlines invest considerably in differentiating their product and delivering the best experience for their passengers. No two airlines are alike – so one size won’t fit all. We’ve already integrated Blueview with high bandwidth GEO satcom connectivity, but these are still considerable investments for many airlines, especially for LCCs and regional operators. For some airlines, any investment in connectivity is still years away – and we have well-proven offline solutions for them. Now, we’re able to offer a happy medium – all the power of Blueview, boosted by the ability for airlines to increase revenue with more onboard sales in a secure retail environment, thanks to live payment validation.”

“Bluebox and FFLYA share some common principles in providing low-cost, rapid deployment of systems that improve the passenger experience and help our airline customers generate revenue,” said Ron Chapman, President, FFLYA. “Bluebox are experts in digital passenger experiences, and we bring our expertise and proven experience with LEO connectivity and different antennae systems, knowing that for many of Bluebox’s target customers, a single patch antenna is the best solution. This eliminates the issues found with window antennae, for which there can be a 60-degree blind spot above larger aircraft which can result in a high failure rate of transactions due to the unique time and data requirements of live retail payment validation – not exactly ideal for an airline depending on maximising revenue from onboard retail sales. Plus, our antenna with a single cabling and partition install can be done overnight – making this a fast and simple engineering task and minimising the time the aircraft is out of service.”

The FFLYA patch antenna is an Iridium aviation certified Certus antenna. At 3 inches, and a footprint identical to a GPS antenna, it has zero drag. An STC is available for Airbus A320 family aircraft, and FFLYA has plans underway for the Boeing 737 series.

Blueview is an innovative software platform that provides both the browser-based portal through which passengers can view and access a range of digital services, such as onboard retail and in-flight entertainment alongside a moving map, as well as all the underlying functionality which ensures secure payment processing, delivery of content, third-party app integration, content management and analytics. It is a digital eco-system offering airlines the ability to engage and entertain their passengers on board and earn ancillary revenue for the airline in the process.

Bluebox Wow is a cost-effective hardware platform that allows for rapid deployment of Blueview and provides the wireless network to deliver Blueview to passenger devices in any aircraft cabin. With a remarkably low cost of ownership, Bluebox Wow is a discrete, portable, lunchbox-sized unit stowed securely in overhead bins, and available in battery- or aircraft-powered options.

About FFLYA Ltd.

FFLYA is part of the ASI Group, leading the world in Bluetooth connectivity solutions for aircraft. The company management has a thirty-year history of flying new communication technologies worldwide.

Over the past decade ASI’s focus has been on creating a new method to connect passengers with the aim of reducing the high costs of inflight connectivity. The corporate jet version of FFLYA, Bizjetinternet is distributed by BizjetMobile LLC. ASI’s router is flight proven on a fleet of Iridium Certus100 installations, ranging from B767 to Turboprops.

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