Air India frequently faces problems on their planes concerning the IFE. On a short-haul route, seat back devices have been completely removed, and fake IFE has been installed.
— Ajay Awtaney (@LiveFromALounge) December 8, 2017
However, on long-haul routes, it becomes more of a problem. I have been on many flights on the Air India IFE on 777s where the feed was grainy or did not work altogether. Unfortunately, this has not been fixed for the longest time.
However, Air India is finding a quick-fix to this solution, or at least trying. They recently invited bids for iPads to replace defective video screens on some of their planes. The tender is for new tablets for 18 aircraft in Air India’s fleet and is for the period of one year. It seems these will be for Air India’s Boeing 777 planes, given the airline has 18 of these aircraft.
The bid-asked to lease new iPad Pros for a period of 1 year, and wanted the provider to be using the current IFE content for service recovery on board their aircraft. The airline intends to use these as a backup for the business and first class passengers in case their IFE screens do not work.
To be fair to the people who will bid, I think this will be a dud bid. Any other airline I have noticed usually calls for Samsung tablets given their cheaper cost, and ability to work with the Android software better. In the case of Air India, they want i-PADs, which is certainly not a brand of tablets. The bidder will have to provide a set of high-quality compatible headsets, customized case cum stand and a replaceable battery with each iPad. It will also have to provide docking stations for charging these iPads at Air India premises in Delhi & Mumbai.
To add insult to the injury, the airline wants a custom interface to operate the same content as loaded on their other IFE platform on the plane. However, when I looked around, everyone in the market seemed to be interested in providing content licensing along with the platform.