UK independent charter airline Titan Airways has become the first customer to deploy Bluebox’s wireless in-flight entertainment software integrated into the Airbus Open Software Platform (OSP).
The system was part of a line-fit OSP installation on the carrier’s first new Airbus A321LR delivered in October 2020. The aircraft will be used by a luxury tour operator TCS World Travel, which requested additional IFE functionality to support its tour programme and upgrade its passenger experience. This included adding comprehensive destination-driven modules which interface with real-time flight route information and enabling TCS to manage bespoke content for these modules via Bluebox’s content management system.
OSP is Airbus’ standardised on-board hardware and software infrastructure available as both line-fit and retrofit for the Airbus A320 and A330 Family aircraft.
Bluebox was the first W-IFE partner selected by an airline customer for the Airbus OSP programme in 2019. For line-fit installations, integration of the passenger-facing IFE portal is completed after transfer of title to the aircraft customer. Airbus OSP is fully compatible with the aircraft manufacturer’s “Airbus Connected Experience”, which is driving the Internet of Things in the aircraft cabin and paving the way for a new personalised passenger experience and an open ecosystem approach for airlines.
According to James Macrae, Chief Technology Officer, Bluebox, Airbus OSP “was a strategic investment for us before COVID-19 and remains so as W-IFE is set to make real gains in the post-COVID world thanks to the ease of deployment and emphasis on touchless travel solutions. Enabling that final link to passenger devices – for entertainment, retail, and other in-flight engagement applications – from the point of aircraft delivery will become the new standard, and we’ve proven we can deliver it.”
To support customer development projects as part of the Airbus OSP programme, Bluebox has set up an Airbus OSP lab at the company’s expanded facilities in Scotland, in which Titan and TCS IFE user interfaces and content sets were tested, along with the system software package, before shipping to Titan for installation upon delivery of the aircraft. Bluebox’s Airbus OSP lab includes the Aircraft Communication Manager (ACM) – a media server hosting the Airbus ALNA/OSP software platform, a test harness for simulation of aircraft systems interfacing with the media server (such as ARINC data for moving maps, and the PA system for PA Pause), a 4G cellular gatelink capability, and a Wireless Access Point of the same type to be used in the line-fit solution.