AirAsia X makes this much money from you! And wants more…

A leader in the ancillary revenue space Malaysian low-cost, long-haul carrier AirAsia X generates a whopping $41.60 per passenger on top of standard air fare, according to a new Amadeus ‘ancillary revenue yearbook’ report by IdeaWorks.

Here is how AirAsia X’s ancillaries break down in IdeaWorks’ report:

AirAsia X numbers.JPG

But what’s missing here? Ancillaries from AirAsia X’s portable in-flight entertainment systems, of course! One can only guess that the revenue is so negligible it doesn’t warrant much discussion (you’ll find that the report says very little about IFE and connectivity; search the words  ‘WiFi’, ‘Gogo’, ‘LiveTV’ and ‘entertainment’… while these types of solutions are clearly the cost doing business in today’s world, they are still largely cost centres).

But AirAsia X expects its IFE pay-for-service fortunes to change when it begins offering its streaming video service (for about three Euros per movie) – plus light in-flight connectivity – to passengers beginning at the end of this year.

As announced by AirAsia X in Paris (an announcement recorded on my handy iPhone here), the carrier’s electronic flight bag (EFB) provider Flight Focus has teamed with content firm Tune Box to make wireless in-flight entertainment a reality for AirAsia X passengers.

Flight Focus’ current EFB comprises two screens, an Iridium antenna, the processor/server and the wireless network for the Iridium connection. “That altogether weighs 42 lbs,” Flight Focus vice president global sales and business development Stef Slavujevic told RWG in an interview today. “The additional weight we put on board include a 5- to 50 terabyte server (depending on an airline’s requirements), some additional cabling, and the wired network takeup points in the cabin. The additional weight for the entire kit for an Airbus A320 is going to be another 100 lbs.”

So the biggest piece of weight is that big ole – up to 50 terabyte! – server. But that, in part, is why Flight Focus believes it will be able to support 100% uptake on-board (which won’t likely be required during most flights…for now).

Has Flight Focus discovered some sort of secret sauce to be able to guarantee assess to all passengers? Hmmm….the proof will be in the pudding, as they say!

Meanwhile, don’t be surprised if Flight Focus along with Tune Box and AirAsia X make some exciting announcements in the weeks and months to come, including providing clarity on a connectivity partnership.

Let’s just say that I’ve had to do a lot of editing in the following video, which was taken during the Paris air show (where I was a very busy bunny!). Bluetooth in the cockpit lads! The rest will be revealed soon

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