Singapore selects Thales Ka-band connectivity for A350 XWBs

Dominique Giannoni, Thales' CEO, Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity
Dominique Giannoni, Thales’ CEO, Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity, at Farnborough 2014.

Thales has been selected to equip Singapore Airlines’ Airbus A350 XWBs with its AVANT IFE system and Ka-band connectivity.

The fleet will be equipped with Thales latest lightweight AVANT monitors, featuring full high-definition video and integrating Avii, the newest evolution of the Thales Touch Passenger Media Unit, in the premium cabins.

Passengers will have access to a wide selection of connected applications, seamless personal device integration allowing a home experience in the air, high-power USB charging and NFC technology.

Thales says the integration of Ka-band connectivity to the in-flight system, using the fastest airborne internet speeds, will open up the world to the passenger.

Delivery of the system will begin in 2018.

Thales InFlyt Experience

The company hasn’t specified what inflight connectivity system will be used, but it will likely be Inmarsat’s Ka-band GX Aviation system. Work on obtaining an STC for Honeywell’s MCS-8200 fuselage-mounted antenna aboard the A350 has been ongoing.

While Thales also has its ViaSat/Eutelsat system this would not offer the fully global solution that Singapore requires, at least until ViaSat gets its full ViaSat-3 constellation in place towards the end of the decade.

Dominique Giannoni, CEO, Thales InFlyt Experience, said: “Singapore Airlines’ selection is a crucial step in our growth and development. The airline has pioneered IFE and remains at the forefront of innovation in this sector.

“Being chosen to equip both systems and connectivity for their fleet is a critical proof point of Thales’ strength in the market, the depth of our local implantation in Singapore and the maturity of our products.

“We are thrilled to partner with them to provide a premier passenger experience that supports their brand, and give all passengers flying on Singapore Airlines the best possible inflight service.”

Thales will provide Singapore Airlines with line operation services. The local repair hub near Changi airport offers the capability to fully support Singapore Airlines by maintaining aircraft equipment while maximising efficiency.

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