Round Trip is your weekly roundup of what’s been happening in the passenger experience and airline ancillary revenue space. Here are the top stories from this past week:
Ever wonder what happens to a plane after it's decommissioned? Panasonic Avionics walks you through the stripping of a plane and why companies decide to retire aircraft. Sometimes, aircraft are retired before their usefulness has run out so this is when crew will tear down the plane for salvageable parts like landing gear, seats, and even coffee makers. IFEC monitors are also reusable but bring their own set of challenges for manufacturers. Since passenger demands are constantly changing, these monitors and systems are being updated at a fast pace, manufacturers may need to make changes and refurbish the devices. Read the post for more information on how Panasonic Avionics tackles this problem.
Cathay Pacific will not be making any changes to offer create a budget carrier. Instead, the company will focus on service. Cathay plans to bring more to their passengers by creating new lounges in airports, offering inflight wifi, more dining options, and self-check-in facilities. It's unclear if these changes will help to give Cathay the boost it needs to avoid back-to-back annual losses. The changes proposed are slotted to roll out late 2017 into 2018.
In order for airlines to successfully use iPads as inflight entertainment devices, they need to be able to quickly charge, transfer data, and wipe a previous customer's information between flights. Cambrionix and JetPack have joined forces to ensure that this process goes as smoothly as possible. JetPack's IFE software is secure and manages the transfer of media efficiently. Cambrionix's ThunderSync product improves speed of transfers as well as charging. The two together may create an exciting solution for airlines who have been wanting to switch to iPad-based IFE but haven't made the switch due to the previously mentioned problems.
KLM quietly added the functionality for customers to pay for airfare through WeChat Pay. WeChat is China's top social media site so it's no surprise that despite no announcement of the functionality, KLM estimates that 20-30% of Chinese customers have used the functionality to pay for their airfare already. KLM is currently the only non-Asian airline to accept WeChat Pay. They are hoping that this functionality will help garner interest in KLM flights from Shanghai and Beijing to Amsterdam.