(Relaxnews) – Fans of cult Japanese manga art will be able to get their fix in-flight from later this year, when a Japanese airline integrates them into in-flight entertainment.
JAL announced this week that its new Boeing 787 Dreamliner would offer a new ‘Sky Manga’ feature on its in-flight entertainment systems, in a bid to reflect “a distinctive part of the Japanese culture.”
Over 30 manga titles will be available for passengers to access on the system, JAL said, with English translations in the pipeline.
It’s an innovative idea and another example of how far in-flight entertainment has moved from the seat-back magazine — customers on board Delta can shop using Amazon, Gulf Air flyers can watch live sports and Virgin America passengers will soon be able to stream movies.
Next week, the subject of exactly what we can and can’t do to keep ourselves entertained during flights is set to come under the microscope at the Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX), which kicks off in Hamburg March 26.
According to one of the speakers lined up for the conference, passengers can look forward to a far more personalized experience in the future — if, that is, they can afford it.
“The combination of passengers wanting a more tailored experience and the need for airlines to increase their ancillary revenues is leading to a decline of traditional cabin classes -– especially on short-haul flights,” says Raymond Kollau, founder of Airlinetrends.com
“Air New Zealand has already turned its short-haul aircraft into a single-class configuration but offer four service options instead – ranging from the ability to take a bag into the cabin to the ‘full works’ service complete with catering and inflight entertainment.”
For those that can pay, the premium service possibilities offered by new advanced connectivity are vast, ranging from new handheld devices to allow flight attendants to pull up passengers’ personal preferences to exciting new entertainment.
“The advent of wireless in flight entertainment is starting to revolutionize the way that airlines think about the delivery of entertainment and other content of services to their passengers,” says Matthew Towers, Founder & CEO of electronic consultancy IMS Research, adding that the new systems will be a threat for airlines which don’t keep travelers accustomed to what they’re used to.
With airline operators keen to keep customers and make a buck or two on the side, the rapid pace of development means that we could be entering a new era when it comes to in-flight entertainment — and manga comics and in-flight shopping are just the beginning.