Viasat Commercial Aviation Blog

Growth in narrowbody fleets drives need for authentic advertising

Sky-high narrowbody orders at Dubai Airshow 2017

Dubai Airshow 2017 is memorable for the massive narrowbody commercial aircraft orders. Airbus could not clinch an A380 deal with Emirates, so unveiled an order for 430 A320/321neos from Indigo Partners (which will share the jets between Frontier, Wizz, Volaris and JetSmart). Boeing countered, announcing 175 B737 MAX orders for FlyDubai.


LCCs see major growth ahead

The commitment of LCCs (low cost carriers) and ULCCs (ultra-low cost carriers) to massive investments in nextgen narrowbodies is proof that the LCC model will endure, evolve and adapt. The majority of these new aircraft will operate in a pre-connected condition, i.e. without IFC (in-flight connectivity). This is primarily because the LCC model typically places cost ahead of passenger experience, and the B737 MAX and A320neo deliver significant fuel savings and reduced CASK/CASM (cost per available seat mile/kilometer). Airlines are investing heavily in these new aircraft. They want to hold onto the cost efficiencies, and reflect them in their bottom lines. But there is another way, and that way delivers a better passenger experience, maintains fuel efficiencies, and delivers new revenue streams.

Better passenger experience plus new revenue = LCC joy

wireless-ife-in-flight-viasat.jpgViasat Wireless IFE (in-flight entertainment) is designed to offer a complete IFE experience to passengers, but without the cost (up to $10k per seat for seatback IFE!), weight and complexity of a seatback IFE system. All it takes is a single server which can be installed or line-fit. Or, for super-quick wins, we can deliver a portable server which doesn't require any STC (supplemental type certificate) and your passengers can enjoy IFE and in-flight shopping within days.

Let's leave the hardware aside, as it's really just an enabler for the range of services that Viasat can deliver, and focus instead on how contextual, authentic advertising not only benefits the passenger, but can deliver new revenues to the airline. We can work with you to deliver relevant ads to passengers that will meet their immediate needs, such as the in-flight snack or beverage that's on special this week, or the car rental partner that's offering a special deal for last minute bookings at arrival airport. But we can also take advantage of the opportunity to offer new brand experiences to passengers.

As the New York Times states: "Once consumers’ shopping habits are ingrained, it’s incredibly difficult to change them." Armies of customer data analysts gather together all the information that customers leave behind and figure out how best to get us to try something new, often by identifying the times when old routines fall apart and buying habits are in flux. It's become a true science and has driven huge sales growth at major retailers. Luckily for airlines, and the brands that want to target the 3.8 billion+ annual airline passengers, flying takes us away from our comfort zone, aligning our immediate goals with our 'openness' personality trait, making us more receptive to new brand stories. Add to this the extra cash we carry, either to enjoy on vacation or to charge to expenses, and the in-flight consumer suddenly becomes a very attractive proposition for advertisers.

Digital ads replace paper

Many airlines still rely on the printed in-flight magazine to carry ads and to cross-sell to passengers. Anecdotally, the printed in-flight magazines seem to have had their day, flight attendants are almost embarrassed by offering them to passengers. And that weight burden! Paper ads also are not responsive, and are rarely contextual. Perhaps most importantly, conversion rates are impossible to measure.

Using Viasat Wireless IFE to deliver ads to passengers brings many benefits to the LCC/ULCC, including:

  1. New revenue from advertisers who want to reach an open-minded audience.
  2. Destination advertising for relevant, contextual offers that benefit the passenger.
  3. Reduced costs in print of paper catalogues and menus.
  4. Improved in-flight ancillary sales, as products can be priced and presented dynamically, depending on route, time, and stock levels.
  5. Viasat Wireless IFE hardware can be connected to our in-flight connectivity service when required.

To find out more about Viasat Wireless IFE, to arrange a demo, or for pricing, just click on the orange button...

Wireless IFE any way you want it


How companies learn your secrets - New York Times

IATA forecasts passenger demand to double over 20 years - 

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