My colleague Megan Kuhn, proprietor of the Terminal Q blog, has just written an interesting story for Air Transport Intelligence that I want to share with you. She writes that JetBlue intends to offer subsidiary LiveTV’s “broadband-like” in-flight connectivity offering, Oasis, to passengers.
We’ve talked about Oasis’ cached content before. But it’s nice to see JetBlue pressing ahead with this offering in conjunction with the rollout across its A320 fleet of LiveTV’s air-to-ground (ATG)-based Kiteline email and instant messaging product for Wi-Fi enabled laptops and PDAs. Equipage of JetBlue’s Embraer 190s is also in the cards but no timeline has been set.
JetBlue director of product development Brett Cochran told Megan that, as JetBlue readies for Oasis and Kiteline installation to begin on some A320s before the end of 2009, the carrier is ironing out Oasis content.
The airline is contemplating a mix of destination and airport information along with voluntarily-viewed advertising, he says. For example, the airline worked with movie studios to enable passengers to watch stored movie trailers via BetaBlue, Cochran adds.
JetBlue also has the ability to combine Kiteline and Oasis to provide more detailed destination information. For example, the carrier could upload weather reports and traffic data using Kiteline and store other destination details on Oasis. Once installed, passengers will be able to access Kiteline and Oasis for free.
That proposition could change if JetBlue decides to eventually offer a full in-flight broadband service to passengers. JetBlue CEO Dave Barger thinks it would be appropriate for the carrier to charge for the service on long-haul flights such as transcontinental routes.
As reported this week, however, LiveTV remains on the fence about offering Ku-band-based connectivity to passengers, and is now also keeping a close eye on how the Ka-band sector shifts out.