This story begins with press release and finished with an email interview. We thought our readers would find the company interesting and their wireless product even more so. We think we have a scoop for IFExpress readers with this one!

AirFI Press Release

Apparently the AirFi product is just that, Wi-Fi in a box – it has thin air between it and the airplane – it’s a portable wireless solution for aircraft with the battery, server, Wi-Fi transmitter, and antenna(s) in the box – no wires to power or anything for that matter. IFExpress got wind of the story via a press release and when we read it we were a bit perplexed.  For certain, we think this is a business jet solution, but from the interview we understand the targeted application is commercial aircraft. Why had we not seen a wireless Wi-Fi solution coming?  We do not know, but it is here and IFExpress has the story – sort of…

We contacted the company and they told IFExpress:

“AirFi is a box, no cables attached, that is 100% portable. The box is made in such a way that 3 boxes fit into 1 trolley drawer. The crew activates the box and places it inside one of the overhead bins. The box does not provide Internet downlink, nor does it provide streaming content but does provide many other features. The box creates a WiFi network inside the plane. In case the plane is larger then a 737 multiple boxes are needed. The boxes connect with each other creating one network ( The AirFi box can also work in conjunction with the Connected Crew product (” (Editors Note: As an aside, the application video for the Connected Crew product is a very clever use of “fixed frame” animation that tells the story of how the company’s information product works on the plane – we like it!)

To get a bit more information about the system after viewing the above and visiting their website, we sent an email list of questions and got a few answers from Job Heimerikx at AirFi:

Q: Is the box image you sent to IFExpress the server?
A: “Yes, it is the server, the power supply, the WiFi transmitter, everything. There is no additional hardware.”

Q: How many boxes are needed on the aircraft (boxes per seats)?
A: “The current box serves up to 80 simultaneous users. Considering average use, a 737 320 type of ac requires 1 box.”

Q: Do you have any electronic spec sheets?
A: “Yes, but we do not share the doc for publication for commercial reasons. The box is classified as T-PED.

Q: What about servers, antenna’s and so on?
A: “They are inside the box.”

Q: Really!
A: “The server is inside the box. Power is 100% battery. This enables us to provide WiFi without certification and ac adjustments. Battery with full use will last around 14 hrs.”

Q: Has the box(s) been certified… is it flying… with whom?
A: No certification is needed. There is no connection to the plane therefore falls under T-Pad. It has been tested with one of our customers who at this time wishes to stay unpublished.

Q: Are you willing to share cost per seat served?
A: No, I am sorry… the box costs around 2-3K EURO’s per year, excluding content, however, hardware services all inclusive.”

Q: What OS are you running?
A: Any, iOS, Window, Android…”

Q: What is the server size?
A: Storage? Adjustable… more then sufficient for our purpose…

Q: How is data loaded? How does that happen?
A: Multiple ways:
a) At the logistics center when charging the battery via WiFi
– or –
b) Via the Connected Crew tablets of the crew (in case Connected Crew is used in conjunction with AirFi, and only for specific information)
c) Information can be uploaded by the airline, by ourselves or one of our content partners/airline content partner.

Q: Will you folks be at AIX in Hamburg?
A: “Martjin Moret (CTO) will be at the AIX show and will be happy to show you the solution in detail.” (Editors Note: Best to send a meeting request to the AirFi folks via their website contact link. Further, you can reach Marjtin at or call +31 6 29349628


  • The Panasonic folks have graciously given our readers the opportunity to view 5 tech papers/presentations that are incredibly interesting and were given at an ICSSC meeting and focus on the high thru-put capability of Ku-band vs Ka-band – you need to read them:
  1. The eXConnect Broadband Aero Service
  2. ICSSC Designing Satellites for the Broadband Aero Market
  3. ICSSC High Throughput Ku-band for Aero Applications
  4. MILCOM 2012 High Throughput Ku-band Satellites for Aero
  5. Panasonic ICSSC slides
  • Airlines without on-board WiFi capabilities have a new, low cost and flexible alternative to offer their passengers a ‘connected’ experience with chat, games and ancillary sales.

Amsterdam, The Netherlands | March 21, 2014– MI Airline is proud to announce the AirFi Box and AirFi Platform. AirFi is a compact, portable, battery-powered and self-scaling WiFi network, not in any way connected to the aircraft. The AirFi Box is designed to be integrated into existing airline logistics and is suitable for creating an alternative Inflight Entertainment for all flights.

The AirFi Platform provides passengers with a large range of options when they connect their own tablets or smartphones to the network: they can order tax-free or catering products during the entire flight, play (multiplayer) games with other passengers, on-board chat, read destination information, enrol in airline loyalty programs or report faulty seats.

Nicolas Peeters (VP Engineering at MI Airline) says: “Additionally, the AirFi Platform is directly integrated with MI Airline’s crew empowerment tablet solution, ‘Connected Crew’. This enables airlines with a complete ancillary sales infrastructure, creating true passenger centric operations. Airlines can also develop their own applications for passengers and cabin crew on the AirFi Platform, creating the exact brand and customer experience they envision.”

In short: AirFi is classified as a T-PED (Transmitting Personal Electronic Device), offers lightweight multiplayer games, product catalogs, inflight ordering, (miles) payment capabilities using ‘Connected Crew’, digital magazines and newspapers, surveys, (group) chat, high value targeted advertising, destination information and basic flight information. AirFi is scalable and flexible without any modification to the aircraft.