Inflight connectivity to hit the skies for two-thirds of airlines by 2020
Airlines are increasingly aware of the value-added benefits of inflight connectivity options. About half of airlines plan to offer free connectivity and 42% are considering paid-for wifi.
While inflight wifi aircraft is still spotty, both in performance and availability, SITA OnAir predicts that over the next three years it will be more readily available.
In an analysis of SITA’s 2017 Air Transport IT Trends, the sister company reveals that more than a third (34%) of airlines will take delivery of aircraft equipped with connectivity services.
In SITA’s 2016 Airline IT Trends Survey, that figure was 21%.
The quality of connectivity is also expected to be better; 69% of airlines carrying out major connectivity programs (40% of all carriers) or conducting R&D connectivity trials (29% of all carriers) plan to offer full satellite broadband connectivity on their aircraft.
91% of airlines are targeting their investment in wireless inflight services for passengers (54% investing in major connectivity programs and 37% in R&D or connectivity trials).
43% of airlines list passenger experience improvement the main benefit of offering connectivity onboard.
94% of airlines are expected to invest in wireless services for crew and pilots over the next three years; 64% investing in major programs and 30% in R&D or trials.
78% of airlines surveyed said that aircraft data management was an investment priority, with 33% of them engaged in major install programs and 45% in R&D programs by 2020.
31% of airlines surveyed cite operational benefits—including improved aircraft maintenance, aircraft health monitoring, as well as flight deck and cabin services improvements—as the main benefit of connectivity.
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