KLM is trialling the AirFi box portable inflight entertainment (IFE) solution onboard Boeing B737 passenger aircraft.
The trial is being conducted on the carrier’s daily flights between Amsterdam Schiphol Airport and Madrid and Amsterdam and Istanbul.
The aircraft on these routes are in general Boeing 737-800 and Boeing 737-700.
Through to early summer, passengers flying these selected KLM flights can use their personal mobile devices to connect to a free onboard Wi-Fi network created by AirFi boxes and positioned throughout the cabin in overhead bins. Once connected, passengers enter a 100% KLM-branded environment called ‘KLM in the Cloud’.
There, they are free to enjoy newspapers, get destination information, browse a retail selection, chat seat-to-seat, join the KLM frequent flyer program or visit the Kid’s Place – with short videos featuring KLM’s popular jumbo-jet personality, Bluey.
Airlines without on-board WiFi capabilities now have a portable, low-cost and flexible alternative to offer passengers an ’interactive’ experience with fully customizable content, chat, games and ancillary sales.
The AirFi Box is a compact, portable, battery-powered and self-scaling WiFi network, not in any way connected to the aircraft. The AirFi Box is designed to be integrated into existing airline logistics and suitable to create an alternative to Inflight Entertainment for all flights.
The AirFi Platform provides passengers a large range of options when they connect their own tablets or smartphones to the network: order tax-free or catering products during the entire flight, play (multiplayer) games with other passengers, on-board chat, read destination information, enroll in airline loyalty programs or report faulty seats.
During the four-month trial period, KLM will evaluate the content delivery capabilities, data collection opportunities, passenger uptake and operational feasibility of the AirFi portable IFE devices.
Joost Blom, Project Manager – Product Innovation Inflight at KLM:
“The KLM-AirFi pilot brings content on board, without the need to make aircraft modifications. The feedback from the first weeks, both from our crew and responses to our survey, shows the interest of our customers. The ‘KLM in the Cloud’ platform functioned from day one and was welcomed by our passengers, and AirFi continues to make adjustments to the setup and usability.
“At the moment we have no embedded IFE on our single isle fleet, so adding a form of entertainment would expand our offer on our European routes. BYOD [bring your own device] is something our customers are doing regardless of our offer: people bring their devices loaded with entertainment and consume that during the flight.”
N.B. Image credit: wikipedia.org