Low-cost airlines in India aren’t particularly known for their inflight services.
To keep costs low, free snacks don’t exist and in-flight entertainment is no more than a magazine, half of which is full of advertisements
However, all that is soon about to change!
In a bid to grow its popularity, SpiceJet will be the first airline in India to offer free in-flight Wi-Fi when it is cleared by the government.
Normally, airlines charge a fee for providing the service. SpiceJet will not charge passengers for the inflight internet but they will cover their costs by charging advertisers for pop-up ads.
India’s regulatory policy continues to ban inflight internet in the country. Even international flights entering Indian airspace must switch off their systems.
However, in May 2018, Telecom Commission – the highest policy-making body of the Department of Telecommunication, had approved the proposal for allowing internet inside flights. Airlines are expecting all the other necessary approvals to be completed by November.
The wi-fi will be available in SpiceJet’s new Boeing 737 Max, for which they have tied up with “Immarsat”, a mobile satellite service communication provider who will fit the aircraft with Satcom (Satellite Communication) antennas.
SpiceJet’s strategy to offer free inflight wi-fi is in tandem with its strategy to blur the lines between low-cost and full-service airlines. In the past few months, the airline has launched onboard entertainment, has revamped its loyalty programme. It will also retrofit its aircraft with USB charging points.
According to Mr. Ajay Singh, Chief Managing Director of SpiceJet, In India, you cannot define a low-cost airline by the service provided. Airlines like SpiceJet are low-cost carriers because the cost of operations is low.
He went on to say that if they can use those savings from the cost to better customer experience, it will obviously work in their favour.
SpiceJet will join the club of a handful of carriers providing inflight wi-fi for free. Among global carriers, JetBlue, Qatar Airways, Turkish Airlines provide wi-fi as free.