• Piksel and Spafax together bring a flexible in-flight entertainment solution to the airline industry
  • Combination of market leading technology, unrivalled content relationships and operational expertise to transform air travel experience and beyond
  • Voyage product allows airlines to own the passenger journey, connecting the pre-flight, flight and post-flight experiences without a relying on in-flight WiFi

New York, NY | September 24, 2015– Piksel, a global leader in building successful online video businesses, today announced its partnership with Spafax, global content and media agency to the travel industry. The partnership will develop and launch innovative solutions to the market, the first of which being Voyage, a revolutionary new approach to in-flight entertainment which has already been adopted by Transavia, a major European low-cost carrier.

Voyage leverages the video delivery capabilities of Piksel Digital Showcase™, Piksel’s video-on-demand platform, giving airlines greater ownership over the passenger’s journey. In tune with the growing “Bring Your Own Device” trend, Voyage enables consumers to select and download video content to their personal devices, prior to boarding a flight. This opens up a raft of possibilities for airlines to engage with passengers, both pre- and post-flight, as they use the app to choose from a wide range of premium TV shows and films, access and update their booking, and make other travel arrangements.

Mark Christie, CTO of Piksel, commented: “There is a huge opportunity for airlines to delight their customers both on the ground and in the air. A flexible entertainment solution that can be integrated seamlessly into other airline systems is a smart way to extend the passenger experience throughout the travel journey. Using a ‘Download on the Ground’ approach, Voyage doesn’t rely on on-board WiFi to deliver high quality entertainment. For these reasons, we believe that Voyage is a major disruptor and will quickly become a highly attractive option for global airlines. Our experience in delivering video to consumers wherever they are, across all devices, coupled with Spafax’s unrivaled content curation and operational expertise will allow us to shift entertainment on the move to the next level.”

“We have always been at the forefront of innovation in onboard content and revenue generation, and the launch of Voyage is no exception. Voyage will enhance the current entertainment strategies of many carriers and open the door to low-cost content solutions for a whole host of others” said Niall McBain, CEO of Spafax. “Partnering with Piksel, and their expertise in the online video space, has allowed us to rapidly bring to market a new service. Our knowledge of content and the demanding needs of global airlines complements their technical know-how extremely well, and we look forward to working and developing innovative new products that enhance the passenger experience.”

The service opens up a raft of flexible commercial models, allowing partners to choose from free-of-charge, pay-to-access or pay-per-view systems. Its revenue-generating business model, combined with low set-up and running costs, and the opportunity to build in sophisticated brand-enhancing advertising strategies, positions Voyage as a step-change for the video and airline industries.

Voyage greatly enhances the user experience, leveraging the high quality screens found on user devices, and is compatible across iOS and Android tablets and smartphones. The content is locked until the passenger boards the flight, when it then becomes available to view. Once the flight has ended, the content is automatically deleted from the device, respecting all airline industry content licensing agreements with secure content delivery achieved by the DRM functionality of Piksel Digital Showcase™.

  • Smartphones, the web and kiosks will continue improving the journey, reports SITA survey

Amsterdam | October 30, 2014– European air passengers are among the most satisfied, according to a new survey from air transport IT specialist, SITA. The 2014 SITA/Air Transport World Passenger Survey reports that 82% of European passengers are highly satisfied with their travel experiences due to advances in technology.

The survey, which queried approximately 2,300 passengers in France, Germany, Spain, Russia and the UK, found that technology plays a major role in improving the travel experience. Among European markets surveyed, Russian passengers said technology had made the greatest positive impact on their journey. Around 71% said online technology had improved their travel experience, while half cited smartphones and 54% cited self-serve kiosks. UK passengers reported the second highest influence of technology on their travel experience, with 56% mentioning online technology, followed by self-service kiosks (39%) and smartphones (35%).

Speaking from the Europe Aviation ICT Forum 2014 in Amsterdam, Dave Bakker, SITA President, Europe, said: “SITA’s survey highlights both the major role and the positive impact that technology is having on European passengers’ travel experiences. While passengers have already begun embracing mobile apps, self-service check-in kiosks and web technology, we expect to see continued growth in these areas in the years ahead.”

The majority of European passengers take their technology on the road with them when they travel, with an average of 80% carrying a smartphone. Within Europe, passengers in Spain carried the highest percentage of smartphones at 90%, followed by 83% in Russia and 78% in Germany. A growing number of passengers in Europe carry as many as three mobile devices when they travel—smartphones, tablets and laptops. Russia topped the list of passengers travelling with all three devices at 17%, followed by France at 15% and Spain at 13%.

Across Europe, passengers are integrating self service technology into every stage of their journey. The vast majority of European passengers—93%—have used web technology for some aspect of their travels. Russia is leading the way in adopting other types of self-service options. Two-thirds of Russian passengers are using smartphone services such as mobile apps, compared to 59% in Spain and 46% in the UK. In addition 77% of Russian passengers are using automated (unstaffed) bag drop, compared to 75% in France and 54% in Germany.

Across all European markets except Spain, passengers’ top two “must have” travel services for the future were better comparability of airline fees, mentioned by 43% of passengers, and real-time flight information, cited by 39% of passengers. These were also the top priorities globally. While Spanish passengers also saw better comparability of airline fees as the top priority, their second priority was in-flight wireless services, such as email and movie streaming, mentioned by 64% of passengers.

We can expect to see significant growth across all European markets in the percentage of passengers who will regularly use web, phone and kiosk check-in over the next 12 months. The greatest growth in all markets except France, where passengers prefer self-service kiosks, will be in smartphone apps. Nearly 90% of Russian passengers said they would use more smartphone apps, followed by two-thirds of Spanish and German passengers respectively.

Smartphone apps are particularly appealing for directions and way finding, with half of European passengers surveyed saying they would definitely use these apps in the future. Around 40% said they would definitely use their smartphones as identification and for access to boarding gates, airline lounges and other areas. According to the survey, Russia and Spain lead the way in their intentions to use these smartphone apps in the future, followed by the UK, France and Germany.

The 9th annual SITA-ATW Passenger Survey was conducted across 15 countries worldwide with nearly 6,300 participants. The 15 countries involved in the survey represent 76% of total global passenger traffic.