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Arkefly completes phase one rollout of TUI Cloud

tArkefly passengers can now stream in-flight entertainment (IFE) on-board the airline’s entire fleet of Boeing 787s, Boeing 737s and a single Boeing 767 using TUI Cloud, a platform enabled by MI Airline’s AirFi box.ttThe carrier’s managing director, Hans van de Velde, explained, “Guests can read the day’s newspapers, current magazines and our own in-flight magazine. We have single player and interactive games, destination information, destination videos and feedback surveys. We are in the process of rolling out more non-DRM content.”ttArkefly’s fleet is already outfitted with various embedded and overhead IFE systems, but the airline sees TUI Cloud as complimentary to the existing hardware. “We can show DRM content on the embedded system, but the system from MI Airline possesses much more flexibility. We can change or add content ourselves, which decreases interaction with the system supplier. We can do a lot of things quickly in-house that we once relied on third parties for,” Velde comments. “From a passenger perspective, most people are now accustomed to second and even third-screen encounters. When I’m at home I often have my MacBook open, my phone on the table and a TV running somewhere in the background. This is also happening on-board. People are watching movies on the seatback, while looking at surveys and exploring destinations on their own device.”ttThe TUI Cloud was deployed just three months after Arkefly decided to make use of MI Airline’s AirFi boxes in April. It was on-board in early July. “There is no need for a Supplemental Type Certificate and I think that’s a very big plus,” says Velde. “We lost no time on certification and spent no money on it either. When you look at the cost of an embedded IFE system, the AirFi box solution is just a fraction of that.”ttFrom November, the AirFi box will replace the overhead system on Arkefly’s B737 aircraft. “We are also looking at specification of the 737 MAX, and for us IFE is a very important element because the first delivery will be in January 2018 and the last delivery will be in 2024,” Velde continues. “An embedded IFE system that is modern in 2018 could easily be outdated by 2024, so we really need to make the right decision. ttWhere connectivity is concerned, Arkefly has no solid plans. “We want to provide the service when we can manage expectations for the passengers and at this moment I don’t believe that we can do that,” Velde admits.tt

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