Japan Airlines (JAL) will finally expand its inflight entertainment (IFE) offerings dubbed JAL Mooove! from April 2015.On top of the already announced JAL SKY Wi-Fi service expansion, JAL will add more hollywood and Japanese movies and dramas on its international flights equipped with the latest MAGIC-V and MAGIC-VI systems. On domestic flights, JAL will also expand its Wi-Fi video service to offer up to 10 video streaming programs from April 2015. This is most likely a response to the recent IFE enhancement announced by All Nippon Airways (ANA).
|April 2015 video programs on JAL international flights. Image by Japan Airlines.|
|March 2015 video programs on JAL international flights. Image by Japan Airlines.|
So exactly how much more contents we can expect? Unlike ANA's announcement, JAL did not provide concrete numbers in this announcement. But below are the breakdowns of video contents for March and April 2015.
Below are the numbers for March 2015
- 38 movies (20 English, 13 Japanese, 2 Chinese, 2 Korean, 1 Hindi)
- 22 videos/episodes of TV dramas (3 English, 18 Japanese, 1 Chinese)
Compared to April 2015
- 44 movies (28 English, 11 Japanese, 2 Chinese, 2 Korean, 1 Hindi)
- 37 videos/episodes of TV dramas (8 English, 29 Japanese)
So the upgrade isn't such big one unless you are into Japanese dramas (without subtitles?). In fact, even in the press release, JAL only emphasizes RYOMADEN -- The Legend: Summarized”, a NHK Taiga drama (Japanese history drama) and all 2013 episodes of “Doctor-X”, TV Asahi popular drama as the new additions. Also I assume JAL will continue to provide 50 audio channels as there's no announcement on such enhancement. And SKY MANGA will continue to be offered on 787s only.
So how does this compared to the enhanced IFE on ANA? ANA's enhanced system has
- 52 movie channels
- 142 video channels
- 148 audio channels
And ANA offers contents in 13 languages! So this is a nice enhancement but hardly the answer to ANA's much better IFE system. The enhancement is still gear towards Japanese passengers. JAL will continue to only offer a single episode of Western TV dramas as oppose to an entire season of the show. Not sure if this is a limitation of the Thales entertainment system JAL has on its plane but there are quite a bit of catching up JAL has to do if it wants to compete with ANA on its IFE offering. OK its JAL SKY Wi-Fi is much better but not everyone wants to pay for those Wi-Fi!
For more info, you can refer to JAL press release (Japanese, English)