AirFi CEO and founder Job Heimerikx has been named “Industry Champion” 2022 at the Onboard Hospitality Awards for his pioneering role in the development of the portable wireless in-flight entertainment product segment, which has made IFE and onboard retail solutions affordable for low-cost airlines and suitable for leased aircraft, and for his work on the APEX (Airline Passenger Experience Association) Board of Directors.

In addition, AirFi’s low-bandwidth LEO connectivity solution was listed as “One to Watch” by the judging panel. The LEO solution enables air-to-ground messaging for crew and passengers, and because the antenna sits in the aircraft window (and the receiver in an overhead bin), it can be installed in an overnight stop as a minor modification. The LEO solution comes with all necessary paperwork. According to AirFi, several European airlines are currently running trials.

April Waterston, Digital Editor at Onboard Hospitality Magazine, said: “The judges selected Job for the Onboard Hospitality Industry Champion Award this year because of the pivotal role he’s played in influencing and changing the very shape of the IFE and inflight retail technology. Job is a great advocate for flexible IFE and onboard retail technology. He brings contagious energy to his work [and] the constant innovation that comes from AirFi, such as the LEO solution, serves as an inspiration to the industry. A standout quality that helped him win is his kindness. The judges all agree that Job is about as friendly as it gets and people remember that.”

Commenting on the two recognitions, Job Heimerikx said: “I am still in shock after receiving the Industry Champion Award and the “One to Watch” placard for LEO. Many impressive and worthy applicants were vying for both distinctions, so I feel truly honoured. I’ve always believed in fairness, transparency accountability and positivity in life and business. And of course, our LEO connectivity solution is going to bring the operational and customer experience benefits of a connected aircraft to many airlines that could otherwise not afford it. We’re all very happy!”

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