Honeywell Disrupts Airline Industry with Free Wi-Fi to Help Enhance Passenger Experience

August 8 , 2019 | Author: John Peterson

Sooner than you think every airline passenger will be able to access basic Wi-Fi service that is fast, reliable, secure and always available. And it will be included in the price of the lowest airfare ticket.

Most industry observers think it will take some time for the airlines to begin offering free Wi-Fi that lives up to passengers’ expectations. Wall Street Journal columnist Scott McCartney recently wrote an excellent piece on the high cost and poor quality of in-flight Wi-Fi in which he said “… the good news is that airborne Wi-Fi providers say the service will likely become free on most flights in about two years.”

As the world’s leading developer of nose-to-tail and air-to-ground connected aircraft solutions, Honeywell Aerospace has a different perspective and a more aggressive timeline in mind.

Here at Honeywell, we are determined to be the disruptive force when it comes to aircraft connectivity, with a game-changing model that makes it possible, practical and profitable for airlines to provide free Wi-Fi. Everything required to implement this innovative model, which we call “Packets to Profits,” is available today from Honeywell.

By leveraging the power of data and advanced analytics, airlines can generate the cash needed to provide passengers with free Wi-Fi and still enhance their bottom-line performance. The model recognizes that using already-available data and advanced data analytics solutions can make airlines more efficient.

For example, data can enable predictive and prescriptive maintenance strategies that can reduce maintenance costs, delays and cancelations. Data also can improve fuel economy by computing the most efficient flight profile and ensuring that the right amount of fuel is loaded for every flight. And it can improve turn-around times at the gate by coordinating ground crews and letting everyone know where service vehicles are at any given time.

In fact, we estimate that using just the data-centric techniques available in Honeywell Forge for Airlines can save a typical carrier as much as $200,000 per aircraft each year. That money can be used in any number of ways, including to increase profits, reduce fares, purchase new equipment or expand services, like providing free Wi-Fi to passengers.

We’ve concluded that the first airlines to offer Wi-Fi that is fast, reliable, available and free, will enjoy a true marketplace advantage when it comes to attracting, retaining and satisfying customers. Honeywell studies show 68 percent of passengers consider Wi-Fi availability when booking a flight and 21 percent would change airlines for a better Wi-Fi experience.

In addition, evolving to a free Wi-Fi model, like the hospitality industry has, will enable the airlines to capitalize on other marketing and revenue-generating opportunities. For example, they can both advertise the airline and sell ads to others on their sign-in page, and they can charge extra for premium-level services like video streaming.

It takes terabytes upon terabytes of data to run an airline and Honeywell seamlessly and securely moves vast amounts of data on and off the aircraft and between various ground operations, using the same onboard network that provides Wi-Fi service to passengers.

Honeywell has developed, and continues to innovate, unique approaches for converting packets of data generated along every link in the airline value chain to actionable information that can enhance safety, improve efficiency, reduce costs, streamline operations, save time and improve the passenger experience.

We use proprietary software and advanced analytics to transform data packets into profits. We apply connectivity enablers, transmission services and an advanced data analytics platform that gives operators the insights they need to make the best decision, every time.

It’s all tied together by Honeywell Forge for Airlines, which provides a dashboard view of the entire operation to facilitate collaboration and decision-making by sharing information on a single screen. Only Honeywell has the right expertise to tie everything together on and off the aircraft, with data gateways, routers, satellite communications systems, airtime services, extraction software and data analytics.  

The bottom line is there is nothing magical about a two-year time window to provide passengers free Wi-Fi. Airlines that need to move ahead today can simply join Honeywell as a disruptive force in the industry and carve a competitive advantage with the potential to last for many years.

 

John Peterson

John Peterson

John Peterson is Vice President and General Manager of Aerospace Services and Connectivity for the Honeywell Connected Enterprise.

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