For the second time we organized Broadband Aviation Forum, an event that aims at providing a 360° view to broadband services in the sky. The recordings of all sessions are now available at https://broadbandaviation.world, simply subscribe to the event on that webpage in order to receive your personal link for viewing.
The first day of the event focused on the digital passenger experience:
- In the opening panel, Oliver Lackmann (CEO, TUI fly) explained how connectivity in the cabin contributes to the larger digital engagement strategy of TUI, which is world’s largest leisure, travel, and tourism company. He was joined by Thorsten Robrecht (CEO, SkyFive).
- Hannes Müller (Managing Director, Lufthansa Consulting) then explained the key customer experience trends that emerged from a recent customer survey: hygiene, sustainability, seamless travel, and personalized offers. Cabin connectivity is a key enabler for all three.
- Next on stage were David Fox (VP Inflight& Connectivity Services, Deutsche Telekom) and Thierry Carmes (COO, Display Interactive), who discussed the role of the mobile operator in removing the key barriers to adoption of cabin connectivity: performance, price, and usability.
- Craig Foster (Managing Director, Valour Consultancy) thereafter presented a wealth of data on the future of IFEC, with a special focus on ancillary revenue today and in future. Once more it became clear that the “E” in IFE(C) will increasingly mean engagement, not entertainment.
- Passenger adoption is key to ancillary revenue generation, and Jamie Palmer (Sales Director, Eclipse Global Connectivity) explained how an airline can quickly deploy broadband connectivity based on A2G technology on its entire fleet, with retrofits being completed in less than 8 hours.
- I had the honor to conclude day 1 with a view on the airline business case for A2G-based broadband. In essence, I showed how the key parameters – revenue generation, operational cost saving, and TCO for connectivity – can be changed at once to result in a positive ROI.
The second day then focused on efficient flight operations:
- Our A380 pilot unfortunately fell sick, but Bas Scheffers (CEO and Founder, OZRunways) did a great job in demonstrating use cases for broadband connectivity in the cockpit, which contribute to both efficiency and flight safety.
- Peter Lewalter (VP Strategic Alliances, Safran) explained that A2G and satellite systems often complement each other. He also gave examples for the fully connected “aircraft 4.0”, which features an array of systems that all require connectivity.
- Paul Rosewarn (Product Line Manager A2G, Thales) went through the different information domains of the aircraft and explained how an Aircraft Interface Device can be connected to an A2G system for enabling entirely new use cases beyond the cabin.
- Jon Mosely (International Avionics Business Development Manager, Kontron) provided an overview of different aircraft connectivity architectures, as well as the Kontron product portfolio, incl. different configurations for A2G and satellite systems.
- Day 2 was closed with a presentation from James Mace (VP, Flightcell) on use cases for broadband connectivity for helicopters, with a wealth of real-life examples and a view on Flightcell’s A2G-enabled communications solution.
Once more it became obvious to me that broadband services in the sky are a critical enabler for progressing further with the digitization of our industry, in both the passenger experience and the flight operations domain. Big thanks to all speakers and especially to our moderator, Christina Dinné (Head of Industry Analyst Relations, Nokia) for their engaging and hands-on discussions and presentations. See you again next year!
About the author: Dirk Lindemeier is Co-Founder and Chief Commercial Officer of SkyFive. He previously spent 19 years with Nokia in telecommunications, and before that 10 years in military aviation. Until today, Dirk also enjoys being a private pilot.