Qantas is doubling down on inflight entertainment, beginning with a boost in the number of movies and TV shows available on domestic and international aircraft.
From early August passengers will be able to choose from 77 more hours of movie content, “including almost twice as many Hollywood blockbusters” says Jo Boundy, who heads up Qantas’ Digital and Entertainment team.
“We’ve also got over 20 more hours of TV and a lot of ‘box sets’, so we are significantly dialling up the content.”
Boundy says the airline’s new QView portal will also offer passengers in the lounge a sneak peak at what they can watch in the air.
“It’s amazing how many people visit the monthly IFE guide on our website” she tells Australian Business Traveller.
“We’re looking at adding the guide into QView later this year, including movie trailers so people can see what’s available and start planning what they’re going to watch while they’re still in the lounge.”
QView heads overseas
Boundy expects this will be especially appealing ahead of international flights once Qantas extends QView to its international lounges, beginning with those in Australia and then potentially overseas lounges such as Singapore, Hong Kong and Los Angeles.
“We don’t have a date in place for that yet but we’re looking to move as aggressively as we can” she says.
Also on Boundy's to-do list is the background music Qantas plays “to customers in the lounge, in the aircraft, in the terminal… everything’s under review.”
The big question for the troubled airline: does any of this put more bums on seats?
“For inflight entertainment, absolutely it does” Boundy asserts.
“In the lounge, it’s about adding to the lounge experience. We know the Qantas lounges are a key value proposition for our customers and this adds to that value.”
News you can use
Qantas will also carry up-to-date news on domestic and international flights from November 1, with the latest bulletins provided by Sky News while the plane is readied for take-off.
“Our plan is to upload the latest news bulletin directly to the aircraft before it pushes back from the gate” explained Olivia Wirth, Qantas Group Executive for Brand Marketing and Corporate Affairs.
“That way, we can tap in to Sky News’ 24/7 newsroom no matter where our aircraft are taking off from.’’
“The feedback we get, particularly from our business customers, is how important in-flight news bulletins are. For many, watching the news between Sydney and Melbourne is their chance to catch up on what’s happening.”
“We will also have access to Foxtel’s library of premium lifestyle, drama, food and entertainment programming plus Fox Sports coverage, which will drive a significant increase in viewing choices on-board” Wirth added.
Sky will also beam its new international Australian news service live to Qantas’ overseas lounges.
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