IMS EMEA Newsletter - Issue 6 - October 2011


Cabin Connect Suite launched at APEX


Vol6 17ARINC chose the Airline Passenger Experience (APEX) Expo Show in Seattle, USA to launch its new Cabin Connect Suite of products which are targeted at commercial carriers that want to realise the offering of onboard WiFi to passengers and cabin crew. Importantly, airlines now have a choice of provider when it comes to offering onboard WiFi over SwiftBroadband and their passengers can enjoy cost-effective access to cabin connectivity, thanks to this new ultra competitive offering from distribution partner ARINC.

With Cabin Connect airline passengers can access the internet directly from their own personal electronic device (PED), whether smart phone, tablet (iPad/Playbook), gaming devices (DSi/PSP) or laptops. Passengers simply log on to an onboard hotspot, similar to those found in internet cafés or hotels.

Airline operators can now choose whether to provide the service free of charge or as a potential revenue generator or can charge passengers directly with a new flat fee charging structure (per hour, per flight, per month). Passengers can select a pre-paid option when buying their tickets or on board the aircraft via credit card, cash or frequent flyer miles payments. Whatever the preference, ARINC can support airlines to provide the commercial model that best suits them.

“Thanks to developments in SwiftBroadband technology we are now 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.

Airlines can also offer enhanced ARINC In-Flight Entertainment (IFE) and communications products – including seatback messaging and live news for passengers without a PED.

With the new offering airlines can benefit from a fully connected cabin – with the airframe itself becoming an extension of their corporate network, with the added advantage of enhancing the onboard service offering to passengers.

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 and, 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.

Costin points out that 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,” he said. “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 operation 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 problem with onboard IFE systems can usually be easily remedied in flight. Alternatively, engineers can be booked to be waiting for the aircraft's arrival, considerably reducing the amount of downtime the airframe requires.



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