Lufthansa to put entertainment in passenger’s hands

New system will provide in-flight entertainment on smartphones, tablets, laptops; airline sees further expansion into Tel Aviv.

A VIEW OF THE Lufthansa Premium Economy cabin.  (photo credit: COURTESY LUFTHANSA)
A VIEW OF THE Lufthansa Premium Economy cabin.
(photo credit: COURTESY LUFTHANSA)
This summer, Lufthansa will debut a new in-flight entertainment technology on 20 A321s, the kind of aircrafts that service Tel Aviv.
The technology, called Board- Connect, will allow travelers to connect their phones, tablets or laptop computers to a central server for viewing movies, listening to audio or playing games. They will also be able to purchase duty-free items and order food through the system.
Because the system relies on customers’ bringing their own screens instead of installing and powering individual ones for each seat, the technology will be cheaper to use and even reduce fuel costs for the airline. In one year, it could save a 260-seat Boeing 767 from burning 80 tons of jet fuel, Lufthansa said.
“Compared to legacy IFE [in-flight entertainment] systems, BoardConnect offers a 50 percent reduction in initial system investment, 50 percent less operating costs and even 70 percent lower maintenance costs,” the company said.
Lufthansa is selling the technology to other airlines, and El Al has signed on to use it as well, so travelers going through Ben-Gurion Airport will have a chance to use it even before Lufthansa roles out more flights.
On Wednesday, Lufthansa reiterated its commitment to the Israeli market, saying it would likely add more flights down the road.
“Our vision is very clear, taking part in this liberalization of air traffic and offering our customers in Israel and around the world at least three daily flights between Frankfurt and Tel Aviv already in 2015,” said Carsten Schaeffer, Lufthansa’s vice president for sales and services in southeast Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
“Lufthansa’s Munich-Tel Aviv route will also be bolstered in the coming years, beyond the eight services we currently offer,” he said. “The popularity of our Bavarian hub in the Israeli market shows us that there is room to expand.”