The Asia-Pacific inflight entertainment and connectivity market is projected to record a CAGR of more than 9% during the forecast period.
- The increasing passenger traffic in the region is generating demand for new generation aircraft, which, in turn, is generating demand for inflight entertainment and connectivity systems.
- The increasing adoption of low-cost carrier business models by airlines in the Asia-Pacific region and integration of IFEC solutions by LCCs, to enhance their passenger experience, are propelling the growth of the Asia-Pacific inflight entertainment and connectivity market.
- The introduction of new cabin entertainment systems, like VR, high-speed internet, and provision of portable electronic devices (PEDs) for passengers, to enhance their experience in the aircraft cabins is anticipated to accelerate the demand for inflight entertainment and connectivity systems in the Asia-Pacific region.
Key Market Trends
The First Class Segment is Expected to Experience the Highest Growth During the Forecast Period
The first-class segment of the Asia-Pacific inflight entertainment and connectivity market is expected to register the highest CAGR during the forecast period. This is because the airlines in the region are providing passengers the first-class seats with the best entertainment and connectivity options available, with many sophistications and customizations being provided, corresponding to the price of the ticket they pay. For instance, Garuda Indonesia provides its first-class passengers with the latest on-demand inflight entertainment and live streams of selected TV shows on the innovative AVOD system, through the personal 23.5 inch LCD screen, controlled conveniently by touchscreen and premium handset. Telkom Indonesia, along with Panasonic's Global Communication System, offers inflight connectivity services for the airline’s first-class passengers. Also, Cathay Pacific started to provide free WiFi to first-class passengers traveling on Boeing 777-300ER aircraft from December 2019. The airline is currently installing Gogo 2Ku technology throughout its fleet. As of December 2019, 20 out of 31 aircraft were fitted with the technology. The provision of such advanced IFEC solutions by the airlines of this region for improving passenger experience is expected to generate demand in the market during the forecast period.
China Holds the Highest Market Share
China currently has the highest market share in the Asia-Pacific inflight entertainment and connectivity market. This is majorly due to the fleet modernization of airlines with the procurement of new aircraft, as well as the installation of the latest entertainment and connectivity solutions. Chinese commercial airlines are installing IFE systems for bringing better flight experiences to their passengers through access to high-speed internet. For instance, FTS Technologies Inc. signed an agreement with Donghai Airlines to equip the airline's fleet with the XStream-SAT Next Generation Inflight Broadband System. Similarly, Thales Group signed an agreement with China HNA Group to provide AVANT, an android-based inflight entertainment solution for 42 wide-body A330 and 17 A350 XWB aircraft. Also, the introduction of new IFEC product lines for Chinese airlines is anticipated to further support the growth of the IFEC market in the country. For instance, in February 2020, Honeywell announced the completion of ground testing and flight testing of the JetWave connectivity systems in China. The JetWave is designed for China’s Ka-band satellite network and high-speed cabin connectivity of speed up to 180 Mbps. Later, in March 2020, Honeywell signed a three-year agreement with Air Esurfing (ARE) to provide JetWave satellite communications systems to Chinese airlines. The development and integration of such advanced IFEC solutions by the airlines in China are anticipated to accelerate the growth of the market in the country during forecast period.
Some of the prominent players in the market are Envee Inflight Entertainment Co. Ltd, Global Eagle Entertainment Inc., Thales Group, Panasonic Corporation, and Vaisat Inc. Currently, Envee Entertainment is officially partnering with more than 80% of the airlines based in China, including Air China, China Southern Airlines, Shenzhen Airlines, Sichuan Airlines, and Tibet Air. Additionally, airlines are partnering with local content and entertainment providers to provide better services in line with passengers’ preferences, with access to content in different languages. Also, companies are providing region-specific IFEC solutions to airlines. For instance, in February 2020, Panasonic Avionics Corporation announced an agreement with Nelco Limited, under which Panasonic will provide inflight connectivity (IFC) solutions under Nelco’s Department of Telecommunications license for Inflight and Maritime Connectivity (IFMC). Such partnerships of international companies with local companies will help companies further enhance their presence in the region.
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