Inmarsat has launched an innovative new OneFi customer experience platform for airlines. The first-of-its-kind solution will serve as a catalyst to monetise inflight connectivity by bringing a host of onboard services together within a single portal interface, which passengers can easily access using their own personal devices.
OneFi delivers an airline-branded digital platform to enhance the passenger experience onboard flights. It allows passengers to order food and beverages, purchase seat upgrades, receive the latest flight and destination information, and sign-up to the airline’s frequent flyer programmes, all in real-time from the comfort of their seat.
In addition, passengers can browse the internet, stream videos and audio, shop online and enjoy other ecommerce offerings, using high-speed inflight broadband that airlines could choose to offer free of charge, funded through OneFi’s sponsorship and advertising features.
The launch of OneFi comes at a critical time for airlines, with the global pandemic having accelerated passenger demand for digital inflight experiences. Inmarsat’s recent 2021 Passenger Confidence Tracker, the largest and most comprehensive global survey of its kind since the pandemic began, found that digital solutions that keep passengers connected and minimise their contact with cabin crew and fellow passengers can go a long way in boosting confidence. In addition, out of the 10,000 respondents worldwide, 41 per cent believed inflight wifi had increased in importance after the pandemic.
Potential of inflight connectivity
“For many years, Inmarsat has advocated the vast commercial opportunities of inflight connectivity. However, until now, airlines have struggled to realise the full potential of the business model”, commented Inmarsat Aviation president Philip Balaam. “OneFi is a step change for those looking to monetise their Wi-Fi services and ensure they keep pace with evolving passenger needs. It will empower a digital transformation in the cabin, which is especially important at this critical time for the aviation industry.”
He continued: “OneFi allows airlines to improve their brand experience and secure passenger loyalty, with the flexibility to incorporate their own services and use existing and new partners, such as content providers, advertisers and retailers. We are in advanced discussions with leading airlines about adopting this innovative new platform and expect to see a rollout with our first OneFi customer by the end of this year.”
In recent years, airlines have continued to increase their focus on unlocking new revenue streams through broadband-enabled ancillary services. The market for digital inflight advertising alone is forecast to grow from $266 million today to $3.3 billion by 2030, representing a 10-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 42.9% between 2020 and 2030, according to Valour Consulting. The launch of OneFi is a significant step in turning that untapped commercial opportunity into a reality.
Personalised, relevant content
What sets OneFi apart, according to Inmarsat, is its industry grade-targeting features, media inventory and calls-to-action that are made available to the airline and its partners. These ensure that content is contextual and relevant to the individual passenger. It also enables partners to engage in more meaningful ways with passengers and boost sales lead generation rates. The platform’s intuitive, user-friendly interface will enable airlines to boost passenger take-up rates and create a frictionless funnel to purchase.
In addition, OneFi is network agnostic and uses open architecture, meaning it can integrate with any technology infrastructure and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) used by airlines, ensuring a uniform experience across mixed aircraft fleets. The platform is also scalable, giving airline customers the flexibility to add new third-party services over time and helping to future proof their onboard offering.
In July, Inmarsat unveiled plans for Orchestra, which it is describing as a “first-of-its-kind network” that will seamlessly integrate existing geosynchronous satellites (GEO) with low earth orbit satellites (LEO) and terrestrial 5G into one harmonious, high-performance solution.