Lisbon, September 27th, 2023 – At World Aviation Festival, SkyFive today published the results of a comprehensive inflight Wi-Fi test campaign, which was carried out on 12 European airlines that together represent more than 80% of installed inflight connectivity systems on the single-aisle fleet.
The objectives of the campaign were to firstly benchmark inflight Wi-Fi services in the European market, secondly learn about best practices of airlines in this particular environment, and thirdly develop a holistic assessment methodology that goes far beyond traditional speed test. With less than 30% of aircraft connected, the penetration of inflight Wi-Fi services in Europe significantly lags behind the United States, with shorter flights, lower mobile usage revenues, and a strong Low-Cost Carrier segment being some of the reasons.
Of the 12 airlines selected for the tests, 4 each were equipped with Ka-band SatCom, Air-to-Ground (marketed under the European Aviation Network brand in Europe), and Ku-band SatCom respectively. Passenger experience was assessed in dimensions of service discoverability, purchase and payment options, the process and time to get online, and the quality of various applications. In addition, various technical parameters were captured in a largely automated manner, including latency, downlink and uplink speeds, and the number of connected devices. Some flights generated 10 Gigabytes of test data.
Services differed significantly in properties and price, with lowest and highest results often being a factor of 10 apart, as can be seen from the table below:
Based on a weighted scorecard, AEGEAN, the leading Greek airline, came out as the winner by reaching 74% of the maximum achievable points. AEGEAN consistently and visibly advertises its service, makes it easy to access, and offers free and freemium options in addition to reasonably-priced paid plans (and an entirely free service on domestic flights). During the tests, all applications worked flawlessly, which was underpinned by very low latency and throughput speeds in access of 10 Mbps in both directions. Passengers appear to be rewarding the airline with robust adoption of the service.
— Head of Airport & Inflight Experience at AEGEAN
We are really proud to have been recognised as the winning airline for our inflight Wi-Fi connectivity service. At AEGEAN, we believe that connectivity shouldn't be confined to the ground, and we've made it our mission to ensure that every passenger enjoys seamless internet access while flying with us. We remain commited to consistently enhancing the travel experience and bridging the digital divide even at 30,000 feet.
— Chief Commercial Officer at SkyFive
With these new results, airlines can now evaluate whether their existing inflight internet services meet business objectives, such as invoking digital engagement, generating ancillary revenue, or delivering a superior cabin experience, and how they compare against best-in-class competitors.
Airlines can contact SkyFive at firstname.lastname@example.org for a detailed results presentation. Going forward, SkyFive will extend its test campaign to other markets and add system capacity as a dimension, to extrapolate how services would perform if 100 and more people would avail them on a regular basis.
SkyFive provides Inflight Connectivity services based on its unique Air-to-Ground technology. The company’s mission is to deliver true broadband services to airline passengers, enable the real-time transfer of vast amounts of aircraft data, and support ultra-reliable low latency communications required for the mass proliferation of Advanced Air Mobility. SkyFive connects aircraft of any kind and size through giant cells in the sky, thereby leveraging the performance and cost benefits of the 4G and 5G mobile ecosystem. SkyFive was established as a spin-off from Nokia in 2019, is headquartered in Munich, Germany, and operates several sites for R&D and service delivery in major aviation markets.