The Middle-East and African inflight entertainment and connectivity market is anticipated to register a CAGR of over 8% during the forecast period.
- Middle-East has some of the most profitable airlines in the world. The increasing demand for IFEC systems in the region is mainly due to the growing passenger traffic in the region. Many FSCs in the Middle-East possess higher seat occupancy rates for first and business class cabins, in which the passengers demand better IFEC provisions.
- Airlines in the region are traditionally known for their better passenger amenities compared to airlines from other regions in the world. The high level of competition among the Middle-Eastern airlines is also driving the investments in the market.
Key Market Trends
Connectivity Segment is Projected to Dominate the Market During the Forecast Period
Currently, the connectivity segment dominates the market in this region, and it is expected to continue its dominance during the forecast period. Airlines in this region are globally known for their inflight services. Airlines are currently focusing on providing passengers with high-speed and reliable connectivity, which is driving the demand in the market in this region. The increasing number of partnerships for better inflight connectivity is helping the growth of the segment. For instance, in September 2019, Panasonic Avionics Corporation's subsidiary, AeroMobile, and leading integrated UAE telecommunications operator du, from Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (EITC), entered a partnership to enable du’s subscribers to enjoy inflight mobile connectivity on AeroMobile equipped aircraft. Business customers can also benefit from always-on connectivity with inflight roaming on their travels. Airlines in the African region are beginning to offer several IFEC services onboard their flights. In October 2019, Egypt Air introduced inflight mobile connectivity, in addition to the existing onboard Wi-Fi and live TV services. Such developments are anticipated to increase the demand for connectivity in this region, thereby, driving the growth of the segment during the forecast period.
United Arab Emirates Held the Largest Share in the Market in 2019
The United Arab Emirates had the largest market share in 2019, and it is also expected to continue its dominance during the forecast period. The high demand can be attributed to the increase in fleet modernization plans and higher international passenger traffic to and from the country. The presence of globally renowned airlines, like Emirates and Ethiad, which are known to invest highly in the passenger amenities, is also helping the growth of the market in the country. These airlines are increasingly collaborating with various global players to provide better IFEC services to passengers. For instance, in March 2020, Etihad Airways announced its collaboration with Tencent Holdings Limited, a leading provider of internet value-added services in China, to identify potential opportunities in promoting the growth and development of innovation and digitalization, in order to enhance the passenger experience. Such an emphasis on enhancing the passenger experience is anticipated to bolster the market prospects in the country during the forecast period.
The prominent players in the Middle-East and African inflight entertainment and connectivity market are Panasonic Corporation, ViaSat Inc., Burrana, Thales Group, and Gogo Inc. Players are focusing on obtaining technical superiority over the competitors, in terms of faster data speeds and better amenities, to gain a competitive edge. This may also help them gain new contracts. For instance, in November 2019, Gogo Inc. announced that it was selected by Qatar Airways to install the Gogo 2Ku high-speed inflight connectivity solution and live TV on 70 of the airline's aircraft. The launch of high-speed Wi-Fi will be coupled with the streaming of live TV in passenger devices, as well as seatback screens. In addition, partnerships between players will facilitate the development of new products, thereby, attracting new customers, which may help them enhance their presence in the market.
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