Maimi-based Eastern Airlines is nearing completion of outfitting ten of its Boeing 767 aircraft with AirFi’s FASE (Fully Autonomous Semi-Embedded) wireless IFE solution.
“Eastern was looking for an onboard solution to both improve passenger experience and generate new cross-platform opportunities,” said Steve Harfst, CEO Eastern Airlines. “AirFi allows us to achieve both while also giving our customers a touch-less entertainment experience onboard. We strive to do everything possible to make traveling a safe and enjoyable experience.”
Under the brand, Eastern Entertainment, the airline is now offering a broad selection of free in-flight entertainment through AirFi and boutique CSP partner, West Entertainment.
Through their own personal devices, passengers can watch the latest Hollywood releases, award-winning classics and must-watch TV programs, with 90% of the content available in Spanish.
Each twin-aisle aircraft uses four compact and ruggedised AirFi Venus boxes, placed in overhead storage bins to create a closed Wi-Fi network. The boxes are classed as carry-on equipment meaning no STC is required. FASE also connects the boxes to aircraft power supply and automates the power on/off function.
“We’ve installed all our planes in as little as one day, while upgrading other aspects of the cabin,” said Harfst. “Quick deployment and the quality streaming entertainment were probably the main reasons we wanted to work with AirFi, but we’ve also become very excited about the other ways we can use the AirFi platform to improve our customer experience.”
The airline sees this deployment as an important key to unlocking improved passenger experience, operational efficiency and revenue generation potential.
Eastern plans to install the AirFi solution on its first two 777 aircraft and will soon use it to launch a new buy-on-board catalogue that passengers can use to browse, order and pay for food, beverage and comfort items right from their seats.
“Ancillary revenue is an important part of our strategy and allowing our team members to collect these fees and charges more effectively using AirFi will continue to be vital to our growth. Digitising online sales significantly streamlines ancillary revenue,” commented Harfst.
Eastern is also working with AirFi America (MEKCO Group), to retrofit its aircraft with in-seat USB power solutions for charging electronic devices.
This successful installation effort, completed in Miami marks the second North American deployment for AirFi.