In-Flight Entertainment & Connectivity Market’s Opportunities and Challenges

The in-flight entertainment & connectivity market is projected to reach USD 7.65 billion by 2023, at a CAGR of 8.72% from 2018 to 2023

Increase in long-haul flights and passenger traffic

According to the International Air Transportation Association (IATA), international passenger traffic grew by 7% in 2016. Asia Pacific, the Middle East, Europe, North America, and Latin America are witnessing an increase in air travel. Increase in the frequency of long-haul flights in these regions has propelled air passengers to demand in-flight entertainment, thereby providing lucrative growth opportunities to players in the in-flight entertainment & connectivity market.

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Cyber threats

Increase in cyber threats and other malicious intrusion attempts acts a key challenge to the growth of the in-flight entertainment & connectivity market. Airlines need to ensure that IFE systems are secured and protected from hacking attempts and other cybersecurity concerns. Crucial flight data and passenger data are exposed to hackers; they can take control of a flight by hacking into the in-flight entertainment system. The cabin’s Internet connectivity acts as a link between the aircraft and the ground control staff, which, in turn, increases the risk of malicious acts. The FAA states that an aircraft’s electronic system must not compromise the safe operation of the aircraft in the event of failure. Recently, regulatory action was undertaken by the FAA wherein aircraft with IFE systems were required to adhere to high-security standards to ensure safe flight operations. In 2014, SC-216, Aeronautical Systems Security, which was established by the Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics (RTCA) in 2007, revised the DO-326/ED-202 Airworthiness Security Process Specification, which is a guidance document for aircraft certification to handle the threat of intentional unauthorized electronic interaction to aircraft safety.

Need to upgrade IFE systems and ensure content management

The need to manage different content types such as audios, videos, images, and documents has propelled the demand for an efficient content management system for in-flight entertainment. Content management is a challenging process, as it should be comprehensive, cost-effective, and streamlined with other services, including media integration, supply chain management, and content distribution. The selection of the right content management system is essential, as it helps fulfill media requirements such as ensuring enough storage capacity for existing as well as upgraded media content. Ongoing technological advancements in IFE systems have influenced aircraft manufacturers to procure and install IFE systems that can be upgraded with new technology.

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