By partnering with AirFi, maker of the world’s most economical and portable in-flight entertainment (IFE) streaming solution, Arkefly will offer guests connectivity and IFE experiences that reaches beyond the aircraft cabin.
April 27, 2015 – Following a series of successful trials, Arkefly, charter carrier of TUI Group’s Dutch arm, is getting set to begin a ground-breaking IFE program enabling it to connect with guests via their mobile devices in fun and helpful way across more journey touch-points than ever before.
On the ground:
Oftentimes, holiday travellers are infrequent fliers and, to ease anxiety, will arrive at the airport well in advance of their scheduled departure. To help these guests pass time and get quickly into the Holiday mood, Arkefly is introducing the first ever seamless “airport to airport IFE” experience.
Beginning in July, AirFi boxes (manufactured by MI Airline) will be deployed at Arkefly’s two main logistical bases of Amsterdam Schiphol and Eindhoven Airport in the Netherlands, as well as about 10 of its international destination airports. The shoebox-sized, battery operated boxes will be tucked away at departure gates, creating a free 3G-based Wi-Fi network for Arkefly guests at the airport.
Once connected to the free AirFi Ground network, holiday-makers will be presented with an airline branded portal. From there, they will be able to access their favorite social media accounts and messaging services and browse www.arke.nl and a selection of other websites. Passengers at the gate will also have the chance to play multi-player HTML 5 games, enjoy digital content supplied by AirFi and Arkefly, and much more. In the future, passengers will also be able to pre-book excursions for their trip while they wait.
In the air:
Tying the experience together, AirFi boxes onboard Arkefly’s fleet of five B737, one B767 and three B787 aircraft will stream free interactive IFE content to guest’s mobile devices throughout their flight. The streaming service – accessible by quick log-in and without a prior app download – will feature games, magazines and news, video content, seat-to-seat messaging and opportunities to pre-book destination activities offered by TUI Group.
“We constantly strive to surpass our customers' expectations, as to us, it's about: more than a smile,” commented Hans van de Velde, Managing Director at Arkefly. “We understand that things like offering AirFi make a big difference to the customer experience. It’s fun, helpful, easy, and it brings our customers in the holiday mood. After all, a holiday shouldn’t have to start once you’ve reached your holiday destination.”
Because the AirFi solution is totally portable and does not require modification to the aircraft, lengthy and expensive safety certifications associated with other IFE solutions will not be necessary for Arkefly.
At the start of each day, AirFi boxes will be placed in crew-dedicated overhead stowage bins and switched on with the push of a single button. At the end of each day, boxes will be offloaded and their long-life batteries will charge as they synchronize wirelessly with a “Proxy Box” on the ground.
When the boxes are synchronized, content is automatically updated and user data can be saved to the airline’s own network for analysis.
“We are thrilled to be helping Arkefly re-define the guest experience,” commented Job Heimerikx, CEO of MI Airline. “Arkefly has a vision: to be in contact with their guests through whole journey – at every single touch-point. The AirFi box is not only being used as an entertainment or a service tool, but also as a sales and branding tool. The entire connected environment will be carefully architected to drive ancillary revenues and reinforce the Arkefly and TUI Group brands.”
AirFi box facts
• Each AirFi box weighs 1.2 kilograms
• The AirFi box is 200 x 120 x 70 millimeters in size
• Each AirFi box can support high-quality streaming to as many as 50 users at once
• AirFi box battery charge can last up to 15 hours
• AirFi boxes need just 4 hours to fully charge, download user data and update content
AirFi is part of MI Airline. MI Airline brings innovations to the cabin offering the unique platforms “AirFi” and “Connected Crew” designed especially for airlines to effectively and securely bridge the information gap between the company and its remote staff and passengers.
MI Airline is supported by Mainport Innovation Fund, founded by KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Schiphol Group, Delft University of Technology and Rabobank.
Contact: Job Heimerikx, CEO MI Airline, +31 6 24626585
Arkefly is TUI Nederlands own airline and part of the extensive TUI international fleet. Arkefly’s Dutch fleet includes the Boeing 767-300, the 737-800 and the 787 Dreamliner. Arkefly flies to more than 55 holiday destinations on five continents.
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