AIX2015: Thales InFlyt Experience is born

Dominique Giannoni, Thales' CEO, Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity
Dominique Giannoni, CEO Thales InFlyt Experience.

Thales has given its inflight entertainment and communications business a new name.

It is now called Thales InFlyt Experience. A rebranding was hinted at during the APEX Expo in Anaheim in September 2014 and came about after Thales acquired the Florida-based LiveTV business.

Dominique Giannoni, CEO, Thales InFlyt Experience, said: “This is a big week for us. We want Thales to be the smart choice for the connected airline and we want to send them a very clear message.

“We’ve invested in revamping our portfolio, we have very strong hardware and can provide reliable, scalable solutions.

“Airlines put a lot of trust in us and we have worked hard on our culture change, and developing a new roadmap for the future.”

Giannoni said that the new Thales InFlyt Experience has three main portfolios – Avant, FlytLive and FlytCare.

The first is based on its Android-based Avant IFEC system, launched on the Airbus A350 with Qatar Airways. Avant is getting a new generation of HD displays that weigh less and consume less power.

The new 11.6” and 10.1” inch screens are planned for delivery in Q1 2016 to an undisclosed customer. Ultimately, they will be made available on all platforms.

“Avant is evolving to give the best passenger experience,” Giannoni said.

The second portfolio, FlytLive, is connectivity, headed by Glenn Latta.

Latta said that in his previous LiveTV guise he was dealing with one new proposal a month. But now they are with Thales it is two a week.

“As part of Thales we have scalability and reach that we could never have dreamed of as LiveTV,” Latta said.

Bringing LiveTV on board has given Thales access to more satellite platforms, but it is betting its future on Ka-band, with existing arrangements with ViaSat and Eutelsat, plus its agreements with Inmarsat for the upcoming GX Aviation service, due to enter global service later this year.

Qatar Airways has said it wants to use GX on its Airbus A-350s when it is ready and every Thales Avant customer wants it as well.

Latta said that it was also keen to bring its regional Ka-band model, such as used on JetBlue and United in the US, to Europe and the Middle East.

“We are about to start a Ka-band trial via Eutelsat’s KA-SAT on two aircraft with Vueling in Spain,” he said. “Passengers should get a real ‘wow’ factor. It will be just like using the internet at home or in the office.”

The third portfolio is Thales’ support services, now called Flyte Care.

“We are at 40 airports worldwide where we service aircraft and have a network of local stations for the quick turnaround of repairs,” said Giannoni. “That makes us unique and means we can offer a service that is second to none.”

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