Posted on: 31 March 2016 by Mark Howells
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has become the first full-service airline to trial AirFi’s portable in-flight entertainment box.
The carrier began testing AirFi’s solution at the beginning of March onboard Boeing 737 aircraft flying daily between Amsterdam Schiphol Airport and Madrid and Amsterdam Schiphol Airport and Istanbul.
Passengers flying on these routes can use personal electronic devices to connect to a free onboard Wi-Fi network created by AirFi and positioned throughout the cabin in overhead bins. Once connected, passengers enter ‘KLM in the Cloud’, where they can access newspapers and destination information, browse a retail selection, chat seat-to-seat, join the KLM frequent flyer programme or visit the Kid’s Place – with short videos featuring KLM’s popular jumbo-jet personality, Bluey.
“The KLM-AirFi pilot brings content on board, without the need to make aircraft modifications. The feedback from the first weeks, both from our crew and responses to our survey, shows the interest of our customers. The ‘KLM in the Cloud’ platform functioned from day one and was welcomed by our passengers, and AirFi continues to make adjustments to the setup and usability,” explained Joost Blom, project manager of product innovation inflight at KLM.“At the moment we have no embedded IFE on our single aisle fleet, so adding a form of entertainment would expand our offer on our European routes. BYOD is something our customers are doing regardless of our offer: people bring their devices loaded with entertainment and consume that during the flight.”During the four-month trial period, KLM will evaluate the content delivery capabilities, data collection opportunities, passenger uptake and operational feasibility of the AirFi portable IFE devices.“The light and portable AirFi closed-network IFE streaming concept isn’t just for low-cost or holiday carriers,” commented Job Heimerikx, CEO of AirFi. “Every airline can benefit from better digital services, more entertainment options and a means by which to stay connected to the traveller throughout his or her journey. It doesn’t have to be a drawn out affair. We can get an airline up and running with its own branded, closed-network streaming entertainment solution in mere weeks.”