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Airline to Scrap In-Flight Entertainment in Favour of Online Streaming



After a recent survey found that 77% of flyers would like to see WiFi on every plane, one airline is taking heed. WestJet, a low-cost Canadian airline, is scrapping entertainment systems in their aircraft and instead are due to provide super fast wireless internet so that travellers can stream content on their own devices.

The removal of TV screens from the back of passenger's seats will result in a massive weight reduction on board - around 1,500 lbs, combined with savings on fuel costs. I can't see those savings passed on to the customer but hey. WIFI!

The airline, which flies from London Gatwick to Canada, will make airborne streaming possible through internet provided by satellites. In a recent study by Monarch Airlines, asked 2000 adults what they would most like to see improved and advanced in air travel in the next ten years. A good internet connection came first, but other ideas included improved aeroplane food, vending machines and segregated child seating (!).

Whilst the technology is in its early stages, one can only imagine the possibilities this development could bring for both the passenger and the companies who choose to advertise on board.

The vice-president of WestJet, Richard Bartrem said that . He told of how "80 per cent of our guests are boarding with a device", and therefore "the new system will allow us to provide a better, more relevant service to our guests while continuing to offer low fares".

President of Immersat Aviation Lee Mondale has claimed that on-flight TVs are somewhat of a primitive technology that have needed to be revolutionised for a while now. He said: "Screens are obsolete by consumer electronics standards before they even get installed. The iPad is better than any economy seat-back screen."

Seats are due to have a 110V power socket and USB points in order to allow flyers the ability to plug in their devices.

While I'm unlikely to fly with the airline any time soon, the news still makes me pretty excited. Naturally other aviation companies are likely to follow suit, especially after it was confirmed last month that a European broadband network for aircraft was given the go-ahead. German carrier Lufthansa has already commissioned WiFi on its short and medium haul flights from 2017.



SMF rookie, fresh out of academia, looking forward to more creative ventures. With a love of current affairs, green tea and an ever insatiable wanderlust, Katie is ready to have her voice heard. Follow her @KatieAtSMF


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Airline to Scrap In-Flight Entertainment in Favour of Online Streaming Reviewed by Katie Gascoyne on Thursday, October 22, 2015 Rating: 5

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