Thomas Cook Group Airlines to expand Sunstream wireless IFE offering with AirFi, as latest plans are unveiled at AirFi’s inaugural Innovation Day

March 14 – THE HAGUE: Speaking at last week’s AirFi Innovation Day in The Hague, Tracy Barr, Head of Product, Thomas Cook Group Airlines, revealed that 34 aircraft will be flying with the AirFi Wireless IFE platform this summer season; an increase of 24 compared to last year. “Passenger feedback shows that they want IFE included on the short-haul leased aircraft that we use during the summer,” she said.

Passengers connect to the AirFi service and stream content via a browser, removing the need to download an app ahead of the flight. Thomas Cook’s own content can be accessed for free, while other content – including movies, TV shows, viral videos, magazines and games – can be accessed for €4/£4.

“We have seen that the conversion for browser-based IFE like AirFi is a lot higher than an app-based IFE,” Barr stated. ”This summer we will have an enhanced content selection, integrated sales of AirFi premium access codes through the crew’s onboard sales devices, enhanced complimentary destination content and we will be introducing new ways to drive revenues through content-related advertising.

Meanwhile, during the AirFi Innovation Day, which also included the opening of the company’s awesome new HQ in The Hague, AirFi revealed a number of product enhancements that are currently in the works.

It is working with as-yet-unnamed antenna providers with a view to expanding its offer to include connectivity that supports low-bandwidth applications such as instant messaging and real-time transaction verification inflight.

And that the Venus AirFi Box – the latest version of the company’s portable IFE solution – now supports fully-autonomous operations, thanks to in-built technology that gives it real-time location and state awareness. Automating the process of the boxes switching on and off, configuring flight details and transferring data to and from the aircraft to the cloud, and so removing the need for flight crew to manually undertake these tasks.

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