Source: Radio 021 | Sunday, 19.01.2020.| 12:24
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How airline companies choose movies for passengers

Illustration (Photo: My Good Images/
While some flight crews choose the in-flight entertainment during the flight there are those staff members who get together to debate which films they are going to offer to the passengers.

Singapore Airlines has more than 70 movie buffs from various departments and countries to represent the places the airline operates. Vice President of Product Innovation, Mr Ng Yung Han, says Movie Review Committee members based in Singapore meet face-to-face every month, while overseas members provide their feedback via email.

– The Committee members' votes and reviews help to provide key insights into what's popular in their home countries. Many films are controversial in certain places. The Committee helps us make the best decisions and offer hot and quality releases to our passengers.

Popularity, award-winning potential and cultural relevance are all key factors in selecting the movies. Singapore Airlines says that the latest movies are on their planes usually around three months after theatrical release dates.

The first airline to install TV screens in every seat in its fleet back in 1992, Emirates has a relatively small in-flight selection team of around eight people. Their duties consist of watching and choosing movies and logging the audience comments.

Some airlines show different programs depending on where they're flying that day. By contrast Emirates' ICE (Information, Communication, Entertainment) system gives all passengers the same content with around700 movies to choose from, regardless of the route they're on with and where the passengers come from.

Simon Cuthbert is the Entertainment, Platforms and Connectivity Manager over at Cathay Pacific and he says getting the right balance of languages and genres is key.

Cuthbert says they usually purchase between 70 and 200 movies in a single month, and that some genres do better than others.

We are always surprised at how well rom coms and comedies do on board, for instance. People will always seek out these kinds of movies when flying , because they enjoy a laugh and a good love story, Cuthbert explains.
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