New movies remain important to Sun Country as it upgrades IFE

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When low-cost carrier Sun Country Airlines began seeking a new inflight entertainment solution to replace its digEcor portable IFE units, the Minneapolis/ St. Paul-based carrier could have opted to take the same route as many LCCs and install wireless IFE. But it would have had to forgo offering early window movie content because Hollywood continues to disallow the streaming of EW content to passengers’ own devices due to piracy concerns.

Instead, Sun Country decided to stay the course with portable IFE, but upgrade to a device that is billed by its provider as “the industry’s lightest and smallest 7-inch portable IFE device”. Sun Country will offer a customized version of Skycast Solutions’ so-called TrayVu7 portable units – dubbed ‘Air Show’ by the carrier – on its long-haul routes.

The unit features an all-aluminum shell/stand combination. And its proprietary design results in a device that weighs less than one pound. Crucially, the content line-up will feature “still-in-theater movies from leading studios including Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures, Walt Disney Studios, and Warner Bros”, as well as new release movies, TV shows and children’s programming, says Skycast, which will update the content monthly for Sun Country. A custom Sun Country user interface allows for user-friendly tablet navigation.

“Upgrading our portable IFE offering with the ‘Air Show’ tablet reflects our commitment to provide our passengers with an excellent travel experience,” says Sun Country CEO John Fredericksen. “This will not only enhance our first class service even more, but also provide our coach passengers with a whole new inflight entertainment option.” Sun Country began flying with Air Show over the weekend.

Meanwhile, Skycast is busy developing an all-new portable device program based on Windows, and has partnered with Microsoft to bring it to market. “We begin with a major North American carrier in very early 2015,” says Skycast president Greg Latimer. “The Sun Country win is very exciting for us for obvious reasons, but also because they have expressed a want to upgrade to our new Windows tablet some time in 2015. It’s going to be a killer product.”

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