Lufthansa provided this PR: “As of this week, Lufthansa has been providing its 20,000 flight attendants with iPad Minis. The so-called cabin mobile device (CMD) will be provided to the entire cabin crew over the next few weeks. This is a major and – above all – visible step in the year of digitization at Lufthansa.
In the cockpit, the so-called Electronic Flight Bag has already been in operation since the beginning of 2015 and is used by 4,300 pilots for flight planning and operations. Simultaneously, cabin crew managers received tablets, which will now be extended to include all cabin crew as a result of the positive experience.
The CMD will allow cabin crew members to access all the data they need to work on board, to access important service manuals and service schedules, and easily view any changes in plans. With the “Lufthansa crewFlight” apps, the seating plan is quickly opened, providing the cabin crew with plenty of information on guests of their next flight.
The CMD heralds a new way of “paperless” working and simplifies existing processes so that staffhave more time for customers. Moreover, it significantly improves communication with the personnel on board.
The Cabin Mobile Device project is a major part of a current transformation program called ‘OPSession’, which aims to further digitize the operational areas of Lufthansa, SWISS and Austrian Airlines. Employees lacking a fixed workplace will be equipped with mobile devices to meet the needs of the customer in a more productive and personalized manner.”
What does this imply? The airline is racing to extract maximum value from its fleet connectivity. We have long held the view that in-flight connectivity is tough to reach payback because the user base willing to, and able to, pay for in-flight WiFi is small. To ensure optimal value is achieved, airlines need to derive flight operations value from this facility. Lufthansa showed its commitment to this after many gave it up, in the post Boeing Conexxion era. The airline may not be the leader in the field of extracting maximum value, but its commitment is clear. There are going to be more benefits that will come out of this decision. These benefits may not be defined yet, but they will emerge. No industry has not benefitted from extending connectivity into its operations.