When I fly Jet Airways’ around India on the Boeing 737 planes that also flies around the Middle-East and South East Asia, I usually do not get to watch the in-flight entertainment programming because Jet Airways’ won’t switch it on. Perhaps licensing issues or something like that.
However, the airline is now setting up a new in-flight entertainment system, which will allow Jet Airways to stream content to your mobile phones, laptops and tablets via wifi reception inside the plane. Jet Airways has tied up with a vendor for the provision of this IFE system already, and they are expecting that within April – June 2016, the first Boeing 737 Next Generation aircraft will be fitted with the new IFE systems and take to the air.
Choosing to pick an IFE system based on wireless streaming helps everyone. In today’s day and age, almost everyone carries a smartphone, so the airline does not need to invest in seatback systems which come with the cost of installation and continuous maintenance and repair. So, there is a huge capital expenditure involved, apart from the discomfort under your seat by the window where the IFE boxes are usually installed.
In-flight wifi coming?
Indian aviation laws do not allow for wifi on planes at this point of time. This is what shot down Air India’s plans for in-flight wifi long ago. But in the press release issued, Jet Airways is not at all coy about making their plans clear. When wifi is allowed on the planes in India, they will offer it. Perhaps they are already at work to make authorities understand that the rules need to change.
The airline further plans to upgrade from a streaming service to a full broadband satellite connectivity in the future, (subject to regulatory approvals), allowing guests to enjoy services such as internet surfing, e-mail, social media, connecting flight information, instant messaging, real time travel services and destination deals.
Jet Airways’ plan is no different then Vistara, then, who is already fitting their planes with IFE streaming systems from BAE.
While this may not mean I’ll get IFE or wifi on every plane I step on going forward, I am sure glad it is a start with one of the big boys of Indian Aviation taking the plunge on being future proof and upgrading their product.
What do you think of the newest effort from Jet Airways? I say I am looking forward to testing this out.