Why the rise in Wi-Fi in the sky is leading to changes in flight4 minute read
Soon, more than half the world’s fleet of commercial aircrafts will have Wi-Fi on board – some 14,000 planes, Juniper Research estimates. This ramp in sky connectivity is expected to impact modern-day flying in ways far beyond a passenger’s ability to live stream the latest season of Stranger Things.
New and upcoming connected airline capabilities can dramatically improve flight safety, fleet management and operations, turnaround times and costs. Already, inflight data is changing the way airline crews operate from takeoff to landing to maintenance, making air travel smarter, more efficient and enjoyable for all.
New inflight opportunities
When airlines can access the inflight needs of passengers up in the air, and also know what’s happening down on the ground, they’re equipped to provide the kinds of elevated experiences that encourage brand loyalty.
Inflight delays are one example. Armed with a connected device, a flight attendant has the ability to not only see if the frequent flyer in seat 5A is about to miss his connection, but to quickly change the reservation and rebook that passenger on a different flight, long before the current plane lands.
On the operations side, the ability to report cabin equipment failures or supplies issues while still inflight would allow ground maintenance crews to pull together parts and arrange for a service team to meet the plane when it lands. This kind of proactive performance keeps flights on time, and passengers happy.
The power of a connected crew
Future-forward airlines are looking to connectivity and crew devices to rethink flight services and improve how staff does their job. For instance, duty-free shopping. Digitizing this experience adds the capability for home delivery, which can reduce onboard weight and free up flight attendants to focus on other services. One new role might be onboard concierge services for VIP travelers, with flight attendants reserving hotels, restaurants and other travel related bookings via their connected device.
Cabin management is also ripe for digitalization. Inflight Wi-Fi empowers the crew to wirelessly control the cabin, accessing inflight entertainment systems, cabin lighting and communications via their phone or tablet.
Pilots armed with connected tablets can receive real-time updates from dispatch, as well as live weather and flight path alerts, helping them better navigate the skies.
Learn more in "How a Connected Crew Can Benefit Your Airline"