In flight entertainment technology is commonly seen on much larger aircraft and provides passengers with something to keep them busy during the flight.
However, as airlines begin to see the possibility for greater monetization opportunities with IFE systems, you will begin seeing them on smaller crafts as well.
Many of the smaller aircraft don’t currently have any inflight entertainment systems because they cannot justify the extra cost. With a successful execution, though, they can actually begin to profit from IFE.
The idea behind IFE is to increase the number of people who choose that specific airline, rather than to see a profit as a direct result of the systems themselves. Many of the larger airlines add the basic features of IFE to a passenger’s flight for free and then charge for any extras. Most of the time this includes a free in-flight movie but any games would cost extra. This has proven to be a successful execution of in flight entertainment technology, but not the only one.
Other airlines charge outright for any passenger use of the IFE. While this produces a direct profit, it can have mixed results. People will be less inclined to purchase IFE in economy class, and those in first class will likely expect it for free. As stated previously, the way IFE can be profitable isn’t by providing a revenue stream but by promoting the airline.
Just like any other industry, airlines have competitors and need to acquire a customer base and then keep them. Most people have a few different airlines that they will consider for their flight, so they typically don’t have a loyalty to just one. However, by offering amenities such as IFE, airlines can entice passengers to choose their airline.
Over eight million people fly on average every day, creating a heavily flowing and constant market stream. Airlines will need to find any possible advantage over their competitors to draw passengers to their airlines. As in flight entertainment technology begins to advance, airlines will have to continue competing and acquiring new systems for their aircraft.
Thus, airlines will be on the lookout for providers who can offer the latest and greatest in entertainment systems and amenities.