Air Transport World

To make in-flight amusement pay.

LONDON-Quality of the communication and information systems offered in the cabin could be the most important "differentiator" between carriers in the future, Sir Cohn Marshall, deputy chairman and CEO of British Airways, told the 12th annual conference of the World Airline Entertainment Association here.

In-flight entertainment is exciting because its scope and potential are bounded only by the limit of human curiosity, ingenuity and imagination," Marshall said. "In recent years, we have seen the stuff of science fiction become commonplace consumer goods. Portable telephones, personal compact-disk players, pocket TV sets are everywhere.

"The airline that provides this degree of sophistication in its IFE package will steal a march on its competitors."

Marshall predicted that the airline industry will see a return to growth rates of 6% a year, a doubling of passenger volumes and the introduction of 12,000 new aircraft by the year 2000. …

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