Ryanair trials free in-flight movies streamed to mobiles

15/01/2015

Ryanair is testing an in-flight movie streaming service that will send films direct to users tablets and smartphones during their journey, funding by advertising.

The airline - which operates about 1,600 flights a day - will also start trialling a wi-fi service later this year, as it tries to boost its credentials with business passengers.

The onboard movie and TV show service will probably be free to passengers, and will be paid for by advertising.

However, passengers will need to use their own devices to watch the films or television shows, and Ryanair won't be installing seat-back screens on its aircraft.

The streaming service will just provide TV and movie content, and won't enable passengers to surf the web.

The streaming service is likely to be trialled on a few holiday routes during the summer.
If it is well received by customers, it could be rolled out across its fleet of more than 300 aircraft.

The budget airline is not the first to test such a service. Rivals United, Delta, Southwest Airlines and Jetstar already let passengers stream videos to their personal devices via in-flight wi-fi systems on some routes in North America.

These can be watched via a web browser using Adobe's Flash plug-in on a laptop or via dedicated apps for iOS and Android devices.

Qantas, Virgin Australia and Singapore Airlines' Scoot offshoot also offer a streaming service of their own, making it possible for customers to choose from a larger than normal selection of entertainment.

Meanwhile, JetBlue had begun offering up to 20 megabits per second (Mbps) satellite-based wi-fi connections on some US routes, making it possible to watch content via Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime if customers are willing to pay for the $9/hr premium service.

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