LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Despite the entrance and exit of AT&T into in-flight connectivity (IFC) in the space of just seven months, there is plenty of optimism in the market. The number of aircraft being equipped with cellular and/or Wi-Fi technology continues to grow – and rapidly. According to Valour Consultancy’s latest research, the installed base of connected aircraft will reach 4,144 by the end of 2014.
This means 19% of the total global active commercial fleet will soon be connected – up from 15% a year ago. By 2024, penetration of IFC will reach 55% (almost 17,000 aircraft). Senior Analyst, Craig Foster, says there is a clear shift taking place that will see more and more aircraft fitted with IFC hardware at the factory. “Although once a market dominated by retrofits, service providers are now scrambling to get line-fit status for their solutions with Panasonic Avionics and OnAir leading the way. Over the next ten years, annual line-fit installations will grow at a CAGR of 20% while retrofits will exhibit a negative average annual growth rate of -4%”.
Another key trend is the emergence of hybrid connectivity offerings. Foster continued: “The industry is still hung up on Ku-band- v Ka-band. While we expect Ka-band to become the dominant technology, solutions like Gogo’s Ground-to-Orbit (GTO) and Inmarsat’s proposed S-band network will likely prove popular. Concerning the latter, most European airlines have yet to adopt an IFC strategy for their short-haul fleets and the likes of Lufthansa, Air France-KLM and others could quickly follow (launch customer) British Airways’ lead”.
The report also reveals airlines are becoming increasingly aware of nose-to-tail connectivity. “Previously, IFC was talked about as a way of generating additional ancillary revenues. Today, there is a growing realisation that it is an essential addition to keep up with the competition and that applications such as real-time credit card verification, live weather and aircraft health monitoring can be implemented too. This helps service providers underpin the business case for IFC and saves airlines money”, Foster concluded.
Valour Consultancy is a provider of high quality market intelligence. Its latest report “The Future of Aeronautical Connectivity” is the most comprehensive piece of research on IFC ever undertaken. For a table of contents and report scope, visit: http://www.valourconsultancy.com/what-we-do/aeronauticalconnectivity.