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Ultra-competitive in-flight connectivity for passengers and crew

ARINC launches Cabin Connect – Passenger in-flight connectivity at APEX

A new suite of products that provide ultra-competitive in-flight connectivity for passengers and crew will be launched by ARINC at the APEX Show in Seattle, USA this week (12-15 September.)

ARINC’s Cabin Connect products incorporate technological advances which, together with the enhanced bandwidth offered by SwiftBroadband, provide commercial carriers with a cost-effective and highly flexible onboard wifi option that offers numerous benefits to both airlines and passengers.

Cabin Connect enables passengers to access the internet directly from their own personal electronic devices (PEDs), whether laptop, smart phone, tablet (iPad/Playbook) or gaming devices. Users simply log on to the system through a hotspot portal similar to those found in internet cafes and hotels.

Airlines can provide this service free of charge or use it to generate revenue through a range of charging options – per hour, per flight or per month. For example, passengers can either select a pre-paid option when buying their ticket or pay onboard via credit card, cash or frequent flyer miles payments. Airlines can also offer enhanced ARINC inflight entertainment (IFE) and communications products – including seatback messaging and live news for passengers, without a PED.

“Thanks to developments in SwiftBroadband technology we are very pleased to offer a strong alternative value proposition for airlines wishing to pursue connectivity within the cabin,” said Lee Costin, Director of ARINC’s Satellite Solutions and Cabin Services.

Providing passengers with onboard wifi, supported by ARINC’s Live Credit Card Authorisation (Live CCA), significantly reduces the risks of fraudulent transactions – estimated to be between 4% and 8% of the total – thanks to real-time authorisation. This enables carriers to confidently promote and sell more luxurious, higher-value items in their duty-free catalogue. According to Costin, many airlines regard Live CCA as a key benefit to installing satcom on their aircraft.

Airlines can also increase revenue by offering onboard retail portals with partner goods and services, as well as through sponsorship and advertising on their sites. ARINC is working with numerous carriers to ensure they get the most from their onboard connectivity.

“We are seeing a large number of both short and long haul carriers looking at their onboard connectivity plans,” added Lee Costin. “ARINC is now in a position to compete head-on with the more established players in the industry and we look forward to the next 12 months which will be a very exciting time for in-flight connectivity.”

ARINC’s new AirCrew Connect – another product in the Cabin Connect suite – boosts efficiency and facilitates a higher level of customer service. Via a direct link to the airline’s headquarters or ground operations department, cabin crew can carry out a range of customer services, such as booking onboard transfers, tracking lost baggage or finding a hotel room. AirCrew Connect also enables real time fault-finding so any issue with IFE or onboard systems can either be remedied in flight, or engineers can be booked to be waiting on hand for the aircraft to arrive at its destination, decreasing the amount of downtime the airframe requires.  

“ARINC’s flexibility in charging options can even include third party sponsorship of services to be used,” he said. “Content provision is also extremely flexible and can be varied by route, aircraft type and class of travel if required.”