Posted on: 05 April 2016 by Mark Howells
Gogo has conducted a global study on in-flight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) and found that demand for IFEC services continues to drive passenger behaviour, but that this is more the case outside the US and Canada.
The study showed 32% of those questioned in the US and Canada said the availability of IFEC is important to their airline choice when booking a flight, but this number increased to 55% when it concerned passengers in other regions.
Outside the US and Canada, 86% of passengers say they are interested in using IFC versus 75% within the US and Canada. When it comes to W-IFE, 76% of travellers outside the US and Canada show interest versus 67% of those in the region. This trend was also consistent concerning live TV, app messaging and mobile voice services.
The percentage of passengers boarding a flight with at least one Wi-Fi enabled device also continues to climb. Gogo says 90% of global passengers brought at least one Wi-Fi enabled device on-board their last flight, but interestingly, the company spotted that when it comes to smartphones and tablets, Android is the operating system of choice, with more than twice as many Android powered smartphones as iPhones being carried on board commercial aircraft.
“The need for ubiquitous connectivity is no secret. There are very few places on earth today that people can't connect and the plane is really the last frontier,” averred Ash ElDifrawi, Gogo's chief commercial officer. “What's surprising to us is that the demand is actually higher outside of the US and Canada, where we are just scratching the surface in terms of connecting planes. The growing demand of in-flight services outside of the US and Canada creates a significant opportunity for airlines servicing these regions around the world.”
Despite ElDifrawi’s comment, Gogo’s report seems to suggest the US market has become saturated with in-flight Wi-Fi and W-IFE but throughout the rest of the world the proliferation of IFE is still in its early stages.