APEX 2016: New customers for UGO wireless IFE solution

Corsair, the French airline specialised in long-haul leisure flights has selected the wireless IFE solution UGO, from Display Interactive, to equip its fleet by the second quarter of 2017. The airline operates seven wide-body aircraft between continental France and the Caribbean, Indian Ocean, west African capitals, and Montreal, Canada.

UGO will be used by Corsair to offer its passengers a wider range of contents including movies, music, newspapers and magazines, moving map and retail applications for duty-free or snacks.

Gaël Pichodo, marketing product manager at Corsair explained, “We wanted our new IFE to reflect our strategy to move upmarket. Equipping our completely retrofitted fleet with this portal will allow Corsair to offer its passengers a user-friendly interface, with new exclusive services and, in addition, early-window movies.”

Corsair’s IFE portal will be a hybrid solution, combining iPad Pro tablets, operated by the airline, and passengers’ devices. Though premium content will be reserved for airline tablets, all devices will stream other contents, using native applications or a web app.

Display Interactive has also announced, with its Chinese partner Donica, a second new client, Travel Service, the biggest airline in the Czech Republic.

The airline has unveiled plans to install UGO wireless IFE solution on its new fleet of B737MAX. Aircraft will progressively enter into service starting early 2018, and will be retrofitted with the latest hardware and software platform from Donica and Display Interactive.

“From an engineering perspective, the new CNSU proposed by Donica was definitely an option to consider. When they mentioned the reduction of the number of LRUs and the space savings in the technical bay, they touched a soft spot” explains Stanislav Blažek, avionics engineer at Travel Service. “Their solution did not only make sense from a technical perspective, but also from an economical one”, stated Ludek Stasek, technical director.

With Travel Service, the next-gen hardware platform designed and built by Donica has found its launch customer. The Cabin Network System Unit (CNSU), to be unveiled at APEX Singapore, merges a powerful media server into a single component, along with a sophisticated crew management panel, upload and update interfaces, and a dual modem for wireless communications. Billy Vauls, director of engineering at Donica International, goes further, “Our new wireless access points offer incomparable performance on the market today, and typically we can serve all passengers on a narrow body with just two of them,along with high-quality and no buffering. They are 80211.ac compliant and use the smart antenna technology, which is the most efficient outside a lab, thus serving passengers who have a mix of older and new devices.”

“The combination of Donica’s technologically advanced hardware with the Display Interactive software solution was really key in our decision,” mentions Jan Lukes, from Travel Service. “Display ran a live demo of their Content Management System over the cloud, just to show how simple it is to change and update everything, graphical user interface or contents and services. As a leaser, we can turn the wireless IFE to our clients’ brands in less than one hour when aircraft are on the ground, and this is highly valuable.”

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