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Wireless IFEC providers
target Asia-Pacific region
Digital in-flight entertainment and connectivity providers are establishing roots in the
Asia-Pacific region as they seek to exploit the expected growth in the region. A number of
providers were at the Aviation Festival Asia show, which took place in Singapore in March,
with new representation in the region targeting Asia-Pacific customers.
Barcelona, Spain-based Immfly, for example, which supplies connected digital services
and IFE, has established an office in Hong Kong. Immfly currently provides services on board
300 aircraft operated by eight airlines, primarily European regional, low-cost carriers (LCCs)
and charter carriers, including Iberia Express, XL Airways, Air Nostrum and Pegasus, as well
as a trial with UK LCC easyJet. “ We believe we have the right product for the Asian market,”
says Maria Girao, marketing and communications manager, confirming that the company
is in discussions with Asian carriers. Immfly has two new unidentified airline customers
signed up, although not from Asia, which could be revealed at the Aircraft Interiors (AIX)
show in Hamburg this month.
As well as providing curated IFE content and services to passenger devices, Immfly’s
platform allows airlines to maximise revenues and efficiencies through facilitating operational
processes and optimising ancillary revenue opportunities. The company is working on a
number of new services, including a “share-a -ride” service at the destination and a new
operational service for cabin crew. Immfly already has exposure in the Asian market, with
its existing airline customers serving the continent and thanks to a successful partnership
with Japanese internet and e-commerce company Rakuten for the easyJet trial whereby
Rakuten was the official entertainment sponsor.
Meanwhile, UK company Bluebox, which pioneered the use of Apple iPads on aircraft,
is seeing much of its growth coming from LCCs and regional operators in the Asia-Pacific
region deploying its Bluebox Wow portable wireless IFE platform, says CEO Kevin Clark.
Most recently, the company has secured a deal from All Nippon Airways for 13 of its Bom-
bardier Dash 8 Q400 turboprops, while in South Korea, LCC Jeju Air recently completed
the deployment of the system across its 39-strong fleet.
Bluebox Wow provides wireless content streamed to passenger devices, with its ancillary
revenue opportunities appealing to LCCs. Bluebox now has seven or eight airline customers
in the Asia-Pacific and Middle East region, with another three customers signed up, says
Clark, adding that he expects most of its future business to come from the region.
Meanwhile, French IFE and services provider Display Interactive is targeting business
in China following its selection to be part of France’s Impact China business accelerator
programme. — EMMA KELLY
SMART MOVE FOR AIRBUS
London design firm Layer has developed
a prototype of a smart seat that features
smart textiles to improve the experience of
Economy Class passengers on short and
The digitally knitted seat cover features
a smart textile and sensors to allow pas-
sengers to monitor and control various fac-
tors, including seat tension, temperature,
pressure and movement using the Move
app. During the flight, data from the seat is
analysed and the seat automatically adjusts
itself to the passenger, says Layer.
The Move app can also provide wellness
advice to passengers, including in-seat
stretch suggestion to maintain circulation
and reminders to stay hydrated.
The seat is also lightweight and features
an adaptable seat structure, with the re-
duced structure, seat pan and back provid-
ing more personal space.
AIRCRAFT INTERIORS TO BENEFIT FROM FORMULA ONE TECHNOLOGY
Aircraft interiors are set to benefit from For-
mula One technology with London-based
design group JPA Design partnering with
Williams Advanced Engineering. The part-
ners believe there is potential to deliver a
step-change in cabin layout, passenger
comfort, fuel-saving and carbon emission
reductions through the application of new
interior design and lightweight materials.
The partners, who were due to reveal
details of their work at AIX in early April,
plan to use proprietary technologies from
both parties to save weight and increase
comfort and space.
“ The innovative use of lightweight ma-
terials, rapid product development and the
maximisation of available space is very
much at the heart of the work we do,” says
Craig Wilson, managing director of Wil-
liams Advanced Engineering.
This is not the first time that Formula
One technology has been deployed in air-
craft interiors, with UK seat manufacturer
Mirus Aircraft Seating also bringing au-
tomotive design, material and production
technology to its lightweight aircraft seats.
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