In-flight Entertainment & Connectivity Market Report

In-flight Entertainment & Connectivity Market Analysis Report By Offering Type (IFE, IFC), By Component (Hardware, Connectivity, Content), By Aircraft Type, By Region, And Segment Forecasts, 2019 - 2025

  • Published Date: May, 2019
  • Base Year for Estimate: 2018
  • Report ID: 978-1-68038-842-8
  • Format: Electronic (PDF)
  • Historical Data: 2014 - 2017
  • Number of Pages: 186

Industry Insights

The global in-flight entertainment and connectivity market size was valued at USD 5.1 billion in 2018. The IFEC market is expected to witness considerable growth over the forecast period as airlines seek to address passengers’ increasing demand for continuous onboard entertainment and connectivity. In addition, business travel requirement necessitates travelers to access business applications, internet, and calling facilities onboard, which has further driven the market.

Airlines across the world are differentiating their service offerings based on vivid categories of IFE platforms, including wireless IFE, embedded IFE, and immersive IFE. In recent times, growing inclination toward the usage of Personal Electronic Devices (PEDs) onboard, coupled with the emerging Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend has driven demand for content streaming services.

U.S. IFEC market

The installation of IFEC systems in aircraft has proved to be an attractive option, both from the perspective of end users as well as airlines, thereby leading to higher return on investments for operators and aircraft manufacturers. The recent transformation in regulatory scenario pertaining to onboard internet access has further resulted in increasing deployment of IFEC systems in aircraft. New regulations enable operators to harness the benefits of onboard entertainment and connectivity features at an enlarged scale, features that were earlier prohibited as a part of federal restrictions.

Companies involved in the development of entertainment system software for the associated IFEC hardware are anticipated to grow at a phenomenal rate owing to an upsurge in demand for advanced onboard entertainment solutions. Moreover, the evolution of High-Throughput Satellite (HTS) in delivering high-speed connectivity services is anticipated to enhance IFEC services.

Global Eagle Entertainment (GEE) and Spafax are some of the leading content providers of in-flight entertainment and are expected to grow at a remarkable rate in the IFEC revolution. Their growth can be attributed to their unique content services portfolio, offering both, streamed and content stored onboard.

Aircraft Type Insights

The wide-body aircraft segment accounted for the largest share in the IFEC market in 2018 but is expected to be surpassed by the rapid growth of the narrow-body aircraft segment. The significant growth of the latter can be attributed to increasing air traffic on domestic routes, which are mainly served by short-haul flights.

Wide-body aircraft are widely used for long-haul flights on international routes. In-flight data capability and entertainment offerings on long-haul flights are of utmost importance. Nevertheless, a large number of older generation wide-body aircraft used in airline fleets have reached the end of their lifespan, and newly-adopted wide-body aircraft fleets demand conventional IFE systems. This trend of replacing older-generation aircraft with modern aircraft among operators worldwide is expected to drive demand for IFEC installation in new wide-body aircraft.

As the air passenger traffic is witnessing a constant increase, smaller airports are facing significant difficulties in scheduling frequent arrivals and departures of small aircraft. In an attempt to overcome this challenge, a majority of the airlines have thus resorted to operating wide-body aircraft on long-haul routes.

Offering Type Insights

Among the two offerings analyzed, the IFE segment garnered the largest market share in 2018 and is projected to retain its dominance over the next few years. Rising need to enhance passenger travel experience is among significant factors that are forcing operators to deploy advanced entertainment features in their fleet.

Furthermore, development of compact and portable LED video devices is likely to result in increased preference for lightweight IFE devices. Growing connectivity between international destinations is another factor propelling demand for IFE offerings. Majority of the flights on such routes are long-haul flights, which demand a broader onboard entertainment offering base to enhance passengers’ travel experience.

The IFC segment is anticipated to grow at a significant rate from 2019 to 2025. The growth of this segment is attributed to rising demand for Wi-Fi usage onboard. IFC offering is gradually becoming a prominent source of ancillary revenue for Full-Service Carriers (FSCs) worldwide. Provision of internet access throughout the flight used to be a distinguishing feature for airlines until a few years back. However, as per recent trends, it is increasingly becoming a necessity for airline operators to provide onboard Wi-Fi to their passengers on key international routes to sustain the growing competition within the in-flight entertainment and connectivity market.

Component Insights

Various IFEC components include hardware, connectivity, and content. The hardware segment is expected to emerge dominant over the forecast period. The segment has been further bifurcated into non-portable and portable hardware. The portable hardware segment is expected to witness the fastest growth over the next few years primarily owing to the emergence of wireless IFE services.

Global IFEC market

The connectivity segment is anticipated to grow at a significant rate over the forecast period. The segment is further broken-down into wireless as well as wired connectivity. The wired connectivity segment dominated the market in terms of revenue in 2018 and is expected to retain its dominance through 2025. Wireless connectivity services are expected to witness considerable growth in the coming years due to growing adoption of wireless onboard communication and entertainment service offerings by airlines to enhance overall passenger travel experience.

The content segment has been further categorized into stored and streamed content. Growing preference for access to on-demand in-flight content is driving demand for streaming media. Moreover, the growth of content and connectivity segment can be assessed on similar paths as enhanced Wi-Fi services onboard enable uninterrupted access to vast content storages.

Regional Insights

Asia Pacific is expected to witness the fastest growth in the IFEC market over the forecast period. The region, being a profitable market for the aviation industry, is demonstrating substantial potential to emerge as a promising market for PEDs complimenting the BYOD era. Additionally, the emergence of a number of players in the regional airline industry has made it imperative for operators to upgrade their onboard entertainment and connectivity offerings and stay competitive in the dynamic industry.

North America and Europe are anticipated to emerge as key revenue generating regions for the global IFEC market due to a matured airline industry and dense flight networks spread across developed nations. Moreover, a majority of legacy airlines are located in these regions, which are adopting pioneering technological advancements in order to offer onboard internet access through Wi-Fi and entertainment offerings to their passengers.

In-flight Entertainment and Connectivity (IFEC) Market Share Insights

The industry is witnessing an emerging trend of mergers and acquisitions among connectivity service providers to achieve an enhanced service portfolio and provide high-speed Wi-Fi services at economical rates. The market is currently undergoing consolidation as various hardware suppliers are now foraying into the content service delivery marketplace and positioning themselves as system integrators.

Leading hardware suppliers are partnering with connectivity service providers to enhance their customer base and increase their overall revenue generation. For instance, Honeywell Aerospace partnered with Inmarsat plc. to provide hardware essentials for the former’s ‘Global Express Network’ high-speed broadband connectivity service.

Market incumbents such as Global Eagle Entertainment (GEE) and Gogo Inc. are bound to make substantial investments in delivering appropriate infrastructure, in terms of connectivity and content, thereby enabling airlines to effectively address passengers’ demand for onboard media and Wi-Fi. These expansion efforts are anticipated to establish a digital environment for passengers that is similar to their home or workplace.

Key companies operating in the marketplace include Gogo Inc.; Honeywell International Inc.; ViaSat Inc.; Thales SA; and Inmarsat plc. Other companies gaining significant market share include Cobham Plc; BAE Systems Plc; Iridium Communications Inc.; Eutelsat; Zodiac Aerospace SA; SITAONAIR; Panasonic Corporation; Collins Aerospace; and Global Eagle Entertainment (GEE).

Report Scope



Base Year for Estimation


Actual Estimates/Historical Data

2014 - 2017

Forecast Period

2019 - 2025

Market Representation

Revenue in USD Million and CAGR from 2019 to 2025

Regional Scope

North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, Middle East & Africa (MEA)

Country Scope

U.S., Canada, Germany, U.K., China, and Japan

Report Coverage

Revenue forecasts, company market share, competitive landscape, growth factors, and trends

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Segments Covered in the Report

This report forecasts revenue growth at global, regional, and country levels and provides an analysis of latest industry trends in each of the sub-segments from 2014 to 2025. For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global in-flight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) market report on the basis of component, aircraft type, offering type, and region:

  • Component Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2014 - 2025)

    • Hardware

      • Non-Portable

      • Portable

    • Connectivity

      • Wired

      • Wireless

    • Content

      • Stored

      • Streamed

  • Aircraft Type Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2014 - 2025)

    • Narrow-Body Aircraft (NBA)

    • Wide-Body Aircraft (WBA)

    • Very Large Aircraft (VLA)

  • Offering Type Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2014 - 2025)

    • In-Flight Entertainment (IFE)

    • In-Flight Connectivity (IFC)

  • Regional Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2014 - 2025)

    • North America

      • U.S.

      • Canada

    • Europe

      • Germany

      • U.K.

    • Asia Pacific

      • China

      • Japan

    • Latin America

    • Middle East & Africa (MEA)

Key questions answered by the report
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