Jet2 enters in-flight entertainment fray

UK-based Jet2‘s claim that its roll out of Mezzo Movies‘ hand-held in-flight entertainment system is “a first for the low-cost industry” will be met with some surprise by fellow carriers that have been providing a similar service for some time.
Airlines currently offering rival Digecor‘s portable video device include Australia’s low-cost Virgin Blue, and European no-frills giants easyJet and Ryanair both trialled the Digecor system for a period in 2005, but decided not to roll the service out due to a disappointing level of passenger take-up.
Jet2 thinks its offering will be better received by travellers because it will offer TV shows, music videos and CDs, which are better suited to ultra-short flight times of an hour or two – rather than the full-length movies previously trialled that had not finished by the time the equipment had to be turned off for landing.
At the other end of the market, rival transatlantic premium startups MaxJet (Digecor) and Silverjet (Mezzo) are both offering hand-held IFE systems. Most recent sign-ups to the Digecor system are Aeroflot and Kenya Airways, joining carriers from as far afield as Alaska Airlines and Singaporean low-cost JetStar Asia.
Clearly the cost of investment of such systems is considerably less than the installation of seat-back screens and so appeals to low-cost carriers looking to add a frill or two. But live television in flight is gaining ground with a number of carriers – from low-cost JetBlue to fast-growing Etihad. You pays your money and you takes your choice.

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