Most air travellers have grown accustomed to a custom inflight entertainment system that aims to glue the traveller to his or her seat for the duration of the flight. Sure, you can call on the flight crew for services but even then all they can tell you is what you already have in front of you. More progressive airlines have touch screens to make navigating the programme easier. Some require you to use a wired control pad that is a step back to the days of the Nintendo game controllers. The operative is “step back”.
So, when an airline claims “we value your comfort and experience” I am not sure what they mean.
In recent years, airlines have continued to increase their focus on unlocking new revenue streams through broadband-enabled ancillary services. The market for digital inflight advertising alone is forecast to grow from $266 million today to $3.3 billion by 2030, representing a 10-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 42.9% between 2020 and 2030, according to Valour Consulting. The launch of OneFi is a significant step in turning that untapped commercial opportunity into a reality.
Monetising the flying experience
Inmarsat claims that its OneFi may change the dismal user experience and help airlines monetise inflight connectivity.
Even before the pandemic, the use of the Internet onboard aircraft was something to look forward to those that prefer to have their own way of amusing themselves on flights when you are surrounded by strangers.
For flights around Asia most connectivity is behind a paywall. These days, add-on fees can start to become questionable when you consider the higher costs of air travel during the pandemic.
Inmarsat, the world leader in global mobile satellite communications, today announced the launch of its innovative new OneFi customer experience platform (CXP) for airlines.
The company claims OneFi is the first-of-its-kind solution that will serve as a catalyst to monetise inflight connectivity by bringing a host of onboard services together within a single portal interface, which passengers can easily access using their own personal devices.
OneFi delivers a rich airline-branded digital platform to enhance the passenger experience onboard flights. It allows passengers to order food and beverages, purchase seat upgrades, receive the latest flight and destination information, and sign-up to the airline’s frequent flyer programmes, all in real-time from the comfort of their seat.
Passengers can browse the internet, stream videos and audio, shop online and enjoy other eCommerce offerings, using high-speed inflight broadband that airlines could choose to offer free of charge, funded through OneFi’s sponsorship and advertising features.
Flying customer dissatisfaction – an opportunity
The launch of OneFi comes at a critical time for airlines, with the global pandemic having accelerated passenger demand for digital inflight experiences.
Inmarsat’s 2021 Passenger Confidence Tracker found that digital solutions that keep passengers connected and minimise their contact with cabin crew and fellow passengers can go a long way in boosting confidence.
In addition, out of the 10,000 respondents worldwide, 41% believed inflight Wi-Fi had increased in importance after the pandemic.
Inmarsat Aviation president Philip Balaam claims that Inmarsat has advocated the vast commercial opportunities of inflight connectivity. He added that until now, airlines have struggled to realise the full potential of the business model.
OneFi is a step-change for those looking to monetise their Wi-Fi services and ensure they keep pace with evolving passenger needs. It will empower a digital transformation in the cabin, which is especially important at this critical time for the aviation industry.
“OneFi allows airlines to improve their brand experience and secure passenger loyalty, with the flexibility to incorporate their own services and use existing and new partners, such as content providers, advertisers and retailers,” he continued.
As of press time, there are no takers for OneFi.