Posted on: 01 August 2014 by Mark Howells
After two years developing a custom IFE system with avionics technology company AeroFi, Monarch Airlines is launching MPlayer, its very own wireless entertainment offering.
The Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) for MPlayer is owned by the Monarch Group collectively, and is going to be installed on the company’s aircraft by the airline’s sister company – Monarch Aircraft Engineering Ltd (MAEL), which also aided the system’s development – during scheduled maintenance checks.
Six Monarch aircraft are already equipped with the system and plans are in place to roll out the technology on the rest of its fleet throughout 2014 and into 2015. For the moment no decision has been made about fitting MPlayer onto the Boeing 737MAXs that the airline plans to bring into its fleet, although Michelle Wiles, marketing and PR executive at MAEL, said MRO specialist would welcome the opportunity to do so.
MPlayer will also be utilised to drive up the airline’s ancillary revenue whilst simultaneously improving the passenger experience. The system will consist of both free and pay-to-access content. Passengers can access the airline’s two inflight magazines, as well as TripAdvisor restaurant reviews and bar reviews (courtesy of BarChick) at their destination, free of charge. The MPlayer media bundle, which costs £3.99 per person per flight, will allow Monarch passengers to view five Hollywood movies, over 50 BBC Worldwide programmes and listen to more than 50 albums.
The MPlayer app must be downloaded to the passenger’s iOS or Android smartphone or tablet before they board their Monarch flight. They can then connect to AeroFi’s onboard wireless network, which stores all the content and control software under the flight deck. Wireless access points are located throughout the aircraft.
MPlayer’s launch complements Monarch’s previous announcement back in May that they had created non-reclining seats fitted with tablet holders so that travellers would not have to hold their devices or rest them on the tray-table.
“We are extremely proud to reveal this innovative and industry-leading product that adds a new dimension to inflight entertainment systems and to be leading the way in installing Monarch Airlines’ new onboard product,” said Keith Earnden, MAEL engineering director.