Delta Air Lines has quietly issued a request for information to bring 350-plus non-embedded handheld in-flight entertainment devices on each of the 16 Boeing 747-400s it inherited from Northwest Airlines.

While a source says the SkyTeam Alliance member issued the RFI in early August, Delta says only that it "is looking at ways to harmonise the customer experience across its fleet".

In a recent online update, Delta said it currently offers audio/video on demand in the Business Elite cabins of its 16 747-400s and 57 767-300ERs. However, overhead IFE is installed in the economy cabins of those aircraft.

Delta's latest RFI could provide a potential windfall to whichever in-flight portable IFE maker is chosen, as the company would be required to supply 5,600 or more portable players to Delta.

The airline acquired and merged with Northwest last year. In addition to streamlining the IFE experience for passengers, Delta's goal over the next few years "is to harmonise interiors, giving customers a more consistent look and flight experience", says the airline.

Source: Flight International