A look at the connectivity needs of the new in-flight passenger

Who is the new inflight customer, and what is the key to tapping into the $33bn opportunity in this space? Is the inflight customer the traditional business person looking to be continuously connected to work, or does a new generation of digital natives, wont to be connected to their devices 24/7 for entertainment, social media and purchases, create a bigger opportunity for airlines? Understanding the shifting demographics of passengers, how they think and where their loyalties lie will be key to the success of many airlines of the future, we learned in a very interesting interview with Neale Faulkner, Regional VP at Inmarsat Aviation.

Inmarsat has just launched its GX5 satellite, which it claims will revolutionise onboard connectivity. The capacity and bandwidth the GX5 will pump into this region will reportedly be more than the combined capacity of the four satellites launched thus far in the GX network. If true, this will be a real game changer and will capitalise on the needs of the Gen Z passenger, who is likely to make his/her hotel bookings and tourist attractions onboard if connection is quick, easy and secure.

That connectivity would enable airlines to grab a predicted $28 per Gen Z passenger, with their tendency to delay a purchase decision until they’re onboard.

There were some interesting conversations, not just around inflight connectivity but also diversity, at the Dubai Airshow last month. We saw other interesting numbers emerge from ADIPEC and Global MilSatCom last month.
With the oil & gas industry under intense pressure to improve operational efficiencies as lower oil prices continue to crimp margins, digitisation, for instance, offers the potential to create $1tn of value for this sector, with benefits worth about $640bn for the wider society. But I’m not going to give it all away here. The facts and figures are all in this edition.