AIX2015: Panasonic lands IFEC contracts with China carriers

David Bruner, Vice President of Panasonic’s Global Communications Services
David Bruner, Vice President of Panasonic’s Global Communications Services.

Panasonic Avionics is celebrating two contract wins from China for its inflight entertainment and communication (IFEC) systems.

Xiamen Airlines has selected Panasonic to equip its new fleet of Boeing Dreamliners with global connectivity and inflight entertainment systems.

Xiamen, a member of the Sky Team alliance that began international operations this year with a service between Xiamen and Amsterdam, will equip six of its Boeing 787-8s with Panasonic’s inflight Wi-Fi service as well as its eX3 entertainment system.

The system will allow Xiamen Airlines to offer passengers hi-definition screens and more than 700 hours of on-demand audio and video entertainment. This can include up to 120 movies, 180 television programmes, 350 audio selections and 30 games.

Panasonic, through its partnership with China Telecom, says it is the only provider authorised to offer inflight Wi-Fi on flights over mainland China.

And China Southern Airlines, Asia’s largest airline, is to be the launch customer for Panasonic Avionics’ eXO overhead in-flight entertainment system.

The eXO system is designed with single-aisle aircraft in mind and China Southern has chosen it for its new narrow-bodied fleet of Airbus A320s and A321s, being delivered from early in 2016.

The new fleet being equipped will initially consist of 54 aircraft, with an option of a further 50 as the airline expands.

For the new China Southern fleet, the eXO system will deliver overhead retractable screens in 1080p High Definition (HD), clear digital audio, and in-seat high-power USB charging for tablets and smart phones.

The offering includes availability of “Near Audio On Demand”, a provision unique to Panasonic, which lets passengers skip or repeat audio tracks with the press of a button on the capacitive touch passenger control units (PCU).

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